The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about telephone scammers calling area residents.
The Sheriff’s Office has received complaints from residents about telephone calls from the Internal Revenue Service, an official acting on behalf of the IRS or from a debt collector.
According to Sgt. Kevin Garig of the Criminal Investigations Division at the Sheriff’s Office in Clinton, the scammers are claiming during the calls that the victim owes money on a bogus tax bill that must be paid immediately and that a lawsuit is imminent.
“Presently, none of the victims who have reported the calls to the Sheriff’s Office have paid out any money, however, it’s suspected more people have been called than those who have filed complaints,” Garig said.
East Feliciana Sheriff’s investigators are attempting to determine the source of the telephone calls but believe they’re not originating from the IRS or anyone acting on its behalf.
“This is a scam,” Garig said.
In October, the IRS released information about the scams, suggesting the appropriate action to take if consumers receive a call from anyone who identifies themselves as an IRS official or someone acting on its behalf.
To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this scam or others like it, the IRS suggests consumers offer no personal information and hang up immediately. If there is any doubt about an IRS debt, call (800) 829-1040.
According to IRS.gov, officials will never ask for your credit or debit card information over the telephone, require you to pay your taxes in a certain way, threaten to bring the police with them to arrest you for failure to pay or demand that you pay anything immediately without allowing you to question or appeal what you owe.
Taxpayers are advised to stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year and not just at tax time, warned Garig.
For details about this IRS scam and others like it, residents can visit irs.gov/uac/IRS-Urges-Public-to-Stay-Alert-for-Scam-Phone-Calls.
For questions, call Garig at (225) 620-2893.