NORTHVALE, N.J. -- Northvale police are joining with other law enforcement agencies across the country and the IRS in warning people not to fall for a fake IRS telephone scam.
Northvale police call it an aggressive and sophisticated phone scam to try to get people to pay money to avoid trouble with the IRS. Police said recent immigrants have been targeted for the scam, too.
A caller uses a fake name and IRS badge number, and alters caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling, police said. They may tell victims they owe money, and threaten arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license if money isn't paid immediately through debit or wire transfer.
Or the fake IRS agent may say a refund is due, trying to trick victims into sharing private financial information, police said. The caller often becomes hostile and insulting, police said.
If the call isn't answered, an "urgent" message is left.
Police and IRS officials say true IRS agents would not engage in this type of behavior. The IRS would never call demanding immediate payment, police said. Notices are sent first.
There also is a process for appealing taxes due to the IRS, police said. And, taxpayers aren't required to make a certain type of payment.
True IRS officials wouldn't ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone and wouldn't threaten taxpayers with bringing in local police.
Northvale police said anyone who receives this scam call should report it to their local police department. To read more from the IRS on this scam, visit its website .
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