A local man almost became the victim of fraud after he received a phone call from a man saying he owed money to the IRS.
Terry McLaughlin says that he received a call from a person saying he was with the fraud division of the IRS. At one point that person told the man he could be jailed within fifteen minutes if he didn’t pay a portion of the fine. McLaughlin says he just wants to the community to stay vigilant against fraudulent calls.
“This just didn’t sound right,” he says. “They told me I owed money and that they could take care of it for a little amount of money.”
He says a man jumped on the line saying the IRS found an error on his tax return. McLaughlin thought it was suspicious and asked to speak with a supervisor. The supposed supervisor provided McLaughlin with badge numbers. McLaughlin knew it was fraud when the caller avoided his questions and got defensive.
“It does get you a little nerved up.. you know and he’s not telling me what I did wrong.. didn’t tell me anything you know… so I’m like what’s the count… there’s three counts well what are they,” says McLaughlin.
The scammers even sent text messages, which made it seem that much more unrealistic to McLaughlin.
So what are some things that you should look out for during tax season? Well according to the IRS website, the IRS will never demand immediate payment from someone. They will also never demand credit card or debt card numbers over the phone. And if someone threatens to bring in police or other agencies— it’s likely fraud.
And McLaughlin just wants everyone to think twice before sharing their information.
“It’s out there, you know. they’ll try anything they can to get your money from ya. and once they do and they get your information, they’re gonna come get it everyday,” he says.
McLaughlin says he did not release any of his information and he was able to contact the IRS right after the incident. He also told us that the call came from a 646 number, which is a New York City area code.