General Crime

Police Warn of Fake IRS Phone Scam

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San Mateo police have received numerous reports of phone scams in the last few months where callers claim to be from the IRS collecting back taxes, police said today. Police are instructing anyone who receives such a call to report it directly to the IRS and not to the Police Department.

The IRS established an online reporting system in March after reporting what it called the “largest ever” phone fraud scam targeting taxpayers, including more than 20,000 contacts. Some victims paid more than $1 million to the scammers.

The online reporting system is at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml San Mateo police also reminded taxpayers that the IRS does not try to collect back taxes over the phone and instead issues a written notice. Most of the scam calls come from outside the immediate area and often out of the state, police said. The Police Department will no longer take reports regarding these scams and will refer callers to the IRS, police said.

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