Recent phone scams target Williams' senior community

Williams Police Department wants the public to be aware of recent phone scams targeting the the Williams senior community.

Williams Police Department wants the public to be aware of recent phone scams targeting the the Williams senior community.

Williams Police Department wants the public to be aware of recent phone scams circulating the community.

According to Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon, calls are targeting the senior community. The caller poses as someone from the IRS, Social Security Administration or law enforcement and tells the person there is a warrant for their arrest and they need to send money to clear up the warrant.

Other callers are impersonating family members and telling the recipient they need to send money to help them post bail.

Nixon said these government agencies will not solicit money by phone. Williams Police Department and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office employees do not attempt to arrange payment by phone.

He advises people not give out personal information and to report these calls to the Williams Police Department or the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. The Williams Police Department can be reached at (928) 635-4421. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at (928) 635-4487.

Tax related scams

Many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email.

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

Even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several notices from the IRS in the mail.

Note that the IRS does not:

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.

Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

If you owe taxes:

The IRS instructs taxpayers to make payments to the United States Treasury. The IRS provides specific guidelines on how you can make a tax payment at irs.gov/payments.

Here is what the IRS will do:

If an IRS representative visits you, he or she will always provide two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 card. You have the right to see these credentials. If you would like to verify information on the representative’s HSPD-12 card, the representative will provide you with a dedicated IRS telephone number for verifying the information and confirming their identity.

Collection

IRS collection employees may call or come to a home or business unannounced to collect a tax debt. They will not demand that you make an immediate payment to a source other than the U.S. Treasury.

The IRS can assign certain cases to private debt collectors but only after giving the written notice. Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card or gift card.

Taxpayers can learn about the IRS payment options on IRS.gov/payments. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to the IRS, not the private collection agency.

Audits

IRS employees conducting audits may call taxpayers to set up appointments or to discuss items with the taxpayers, but not without having first attempted to notify them by mail. After mailing an official notification of an audit, an auditor/tax examiner may call to discuss items pertaining to the audit.

Criminal Investigations

IRS criminal investigators may visit a taxpayer’s home or business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents and they will not demand any sort of payment.

Beware of Impersonations

Scams take many shapes and forms, such as phone calls, letters and emails. Many IRS impersonators use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a fabricated tax bill. They may even threaten to arrest or deport their would-be victim if the victim doesn’t comply.

For a comprehensive listing of recent tax scams and consumer alerts, visit Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts.

Know Who to Contact

Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.

Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Information provided by the IRS.

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