Word scam over money

Members have reported being contacted by people pretending to be the IRS. These members were told they owe back taxes and need to pay immediately or face being arrested. The scammers instructed them to pay by iTunes gift cards and Western Union wire transfers. The scammers also requested the member call them on their cell phone and allow them to remain on the line while the member completed their bank transactions. 

Important things to remember if you receive a call:

  • The IRS will not contact you by phone if you owe back taxes. You will contacted by mail.
  • The IRS will work with you to set up payments to repay your debt.
  • Government agencies won’t ever request you allow them to listen to your confidential bank transactions. 
  • Government agencies don’t accept payments by iTunes or Western Union. 

What to do if you receive a call:

  • Don’t give the scammer any of your personal information – government agencies won’t ever ask you for this information.
  • Write down details of the call: phone number and name of the caller.
  • Contact the IRS directly at www.irs.gov or 800.829.1040.
  • File a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) www.tigta.gov or 800.366.4484 and the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint  or 877.FTC.HELP.

What to do if you have given money to the scammers: 

  • Don’t feel ashamed – it is called a scam for a reason. 
  • Immediately report the theft and all the details of the interaction(s) to your local police and First Commonwealth.

You can read more on the FTC’s consumer information website about this scam. Please alert your family, friends and neighbors about this scam.