Tax season brings IRS phone scams

Apr 9, 2014 7:26 PM

Tax season is known for last minute filings, dreams of hefty refunds, and attempted tax scams.

"Around this time of the year when people are filing is the most likely time, and there is a spike of phone scams occurring during that period," said Anand "Lucky" Jesrani, a Deputy District Attorney at the Shasta County District Attorney's Office.

One Redding woman picked up the phone to get a call just like this one.

"The first time he said 'I'm from the IRS,' just a little warning light went off, and I thought something's wrong here; the IRS usually does not operate this way," Polly Van Benthusen said.

Van Benthusen worked for the United States Social Security Administration for 38 years.

She came across similar stories in her line of work.

She says others might not be as savvy, especially when scammers are persistent.

Imagine getting seven calls in only two days...

"That's the number of times I was contacted by this group claiming to be from the IRS. They called, they called, they called," Van Benthusen said.

Being aware is your best weapon against being a victim.

The IRS and the Shasta County DA's Office both warn consumers to think twice before giving any personal information to anyone on the phone.

"It's always okay to say I'm gonna call you back. The phone number for the IRS can be found online, and I would recommend just calling that number directly and then continuing the conversation to ensure you're not revealing personal information unnecessarily," Jesrani said.

Jesrani warns that once you give out information or money, it could be nearly impossible to track down the scammer.

Consumers are asked to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to the IRS.


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