IRS Phone Scam Poses Threat In Tennessee

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CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-They call you sounding official, talking about your tax returns but if you don’t answer the right questions about bank accounts or social security these phoney IRS employees get ugly.

Virginia Sherard, IRS,"Threatening and abusive language and they tell you that they owe taxes and that you have to pay the taxes immediately sometimes they will threaten that if you don’t pay the taxes immediately local law enforcement has been called and will arrest you"

Sherard says the callers are based overseas but are using American area codes.

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Virginia Sherard, IRS,"Their caller ID is being spoofed, so they are using an area code of 202 very often that makes sense as that’s the Washington DC area code"

Chattanooga attorney Gary Massey says citizens have to be wary as it becomes more challenging to prosecute the scammers when they are not in this country.

Gary Massey, Attorney,"People who haven’t filed their tax returns know they haven’t filed their tax returns, people who owe taxes and weren’t able to pay it know they owe taxes and weren’t able to pay it, so if someone calls and says you owe out of the blue, I would be just really really skeptical"

"Local I.T specialists say when these phone scammers target, the internet could turn out to be your best friend"

Devin Cho, Angry Squirrel Computers, "Ignore it and hang up on them, there’s always you can log onto Google, web search it, type in the phone numbers that are coming up in the Google web search and usually you will find out if its a scam or not because other people out there have put in their input"

Cho advises to report the numbers online and to forums and threads to prevent others from getting caught.

The IRS say they will only call tax payers if you have previously received mailed notices and not responded.