District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla has issued a warning to East and West Feliciana parish residents about a telephone scam involving the Internal Revenue Service.
The scam has thieves calling and emailing residents while pretending to be from the IRS.
“They are using the IRS official logo as well as an authentic-looking but phony website to steal money,” D’Aquilla said. “They may also try to steal your identity, too.”
D’Aquilla offered several tips to help residents avoid becoming a victim of the scam:
The real IRS will not: initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media to ask for personal or financial information; call and demand immediate payment on taxes owed without first mailing a bill; or require payment of taxes a certain way, such as telling someone they must pay with a prepaid debit card.
D’Aquilla said residents also should be wary of phone calls from anyone who claims to be from the IRS or any other person who demands money or payment immediately.
If you do not owe taxes or have any reason to think you do, visit IRS.gov or call the IRS. If you think you may owe taxes, ask for a callback number and employee badge number, then call the IRS at (800) 829-1040, he said.
D’Aquilla said residents also should be aware of phishing emails.
“Do not reply to a message or give out your personal or financial information,” he said. “Instead, you should forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete it.”
The district attorney also suggested not opening any attachments or clicking on any links.
“The emails may have malicious code that will infect your computer,” D’Aquilla said.
He reminded residents to never give out personal or financial information to anyone unknown over the phone, in an email or online. Residents should remain vigilant about this scam that uses the IRS as a lure or any other suspicious scams, he added.
For information on how to report phishing or phone scams, visit IRS.gov or call the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 683-3313; the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 635-3241; D’Aquilla’s Clinton office at (225) 683-8563 or his St. Francisville office at (225) 634-2545; or email email@example.com.