‘IRS’ phone scam costs two Parsippany residents $20K
Two Parsippany women are likely the victims of a phone scam that invoked the IRS to make threats.
Pasippany Police said one woman was called by someone who claimed to work for the IRS and threatened arrest if she didn't pay $7,000 in taxes. After sending $3,000 via Western Union, the maximum allowed by the company, to "Martin Douglas," the woman became suspicious and contacted police. The money order had already been cashed and could not be recovered.
On the same day, another woman sent $17,500 via several Money Grams because the caller told her she owed back taxes, according to police. Her daughter had reported her missing to Parsippany police after she could not locate her mother and only got vague texts with her and a phone call from a man named "Brian" who said he knew where her mother was located. The $17,500 was also not recoverable.
The IRS has five signs to keep in mind when getting a call from someone who claims to be with the government agency. The IRS said it does not do the following:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. They will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
The IRS said it also does not use text messaging or social media to discuss tax cases.
Call your police or call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you believe you are the target of a scam.