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Sheriff warns of IRS scam

Buckingham Sheriff William G. “Billy” Kidd Jr. is warning residents about tax scams that have prompted numerous calls to the county sheriff’s office.

“Callers pretending to be from the IRS tell victims that they owe taxes and must pay immediately,” Kidd said in the release. “The callers then threaten those who refuse to comply with a visit from local law enforcement to arrest them.”

He said the callers who commit this fraud often use common names and fake IRS badge numbers, know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, have the ability to make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling, send bogus IRS emails to support their scam and call a second time claiming to be the police, again using caller ID.

“The real IRS makes their first contacts by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes. The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer nor will they ask for a credit card number over the phone,” he said.

“If you owe or think you owe federal taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and speak with a real IRS representative. If you do not owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.”

Kidd said that the IRS will not request any personal or financial information via social media. “If you receive a scam email, do not open any attachments.”