IRS scam targets local residents

Published 10:09 am Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scammers claiming to be with the IRS have recently targeted the Lincoln County area, according to one concerned resident.

A resident, requested that her name not be published due to the nature of the alleged crime, reported that she received a call from a man with a thick accent claiming to be with the IRS. He said that she owed money. She has received more than one phone call with the most recent being a voicemail threatening to issue a warrant for her arrest.

Mary Helen Miller, a CPA at Miller & White, said the IRS does not conduct business over the phone. If someone does owe the IRS money, they would receive a letter in the mail.

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“If the IRS calls asking for money, the best thing to do is just hang up,” she said.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said he has not received calls about this particular scam recently, but he said scammers are always out there. He said the most common one right now is about Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

“They say you’ve won millions of dollars, just send me $2 or $3 as a handling fee,” he said.

Rushing said anytime someone claims you have won money but then asks for a fee first, it’s a scam.

Rushing said it’s important for people to be cautious because these scams can be hard to trace and the money hard to recover. If a scam were traced, the person would be charged with fraud. Rushing said it’s hard to say what the penalty would be because exact charges would vary based on individual circumstances.