Consumer Bob helps to save you money and time

IRS Imposters Scam Victims

Claim people are tax cheats

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    NEWSLETTERS

    People across San Diego are getting a call from scammers claiming to be with the IRS. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports on what you need to know about this latest scam.

    When Jana Odou checked her phone messages, she didn't expect a call from the Internal Revenue Service.

    "Oh my goodness," said Jana Odou, "What did I do?"

    The call claimed that Jana had committed tax fraud and that sheriff's deputies were heading to her house.

    "I thought when they first called, what did I do?" said Odou.

    While Odou wondered what was going on, Raphael Tulino with the IRS had no doubt.

    "It's sinister, it's pervasive and the scammers are using the IRS as a lure," said Tulino.

    Tulino said these calls use fear to get people to pay money.  Most of the times the con artists ask the people to wire them money or use a gift card to pay their IRS debt. But it's all a cruel trick and immigrants are often the target.

    "A lot of folks who are being called are immigrants to the United States," said Tulino, "They don't really know that the IRS would never do that. It's not how we do business."

    Tulino said the IRS would contact people through the US Postal Service and only call a home after repeated attempts to reach them by mail, and even then they would not ask for immediate payments over the phone.

    While Jana Odou did not fall for the scam, the IRS said it's heard of more than 1,000 people falling victim, losing more than $5 million to the imposters.

    "It's just somebody out there looking for a quick buck," said Odou.

    She said people should ignore those calls and just hang up.

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