Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert following a recent increase in local reports of telephone scammers posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service. 

In this particular scam, the caller often claims to be an agent or police officer from the Internal Revenue Service or Attorney General’s Office calling for a past due tax balance that is owed. The caller will tell the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team of officers will come to the victim’s home that day to arrest the victim. The scammer will also request that the “IRS Tax Warrant” be paid with a Green Dot Card Money Card or Western Union MoneyGram. These scammers often use caller-ID spoofing so that the victim’s caller ID box says “Internal Revenue Service” or displays the phone number of the Internal Revenue Service. Sometimes scammers will also ask victims for personal information such as a Social Security number to commit identity theft.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

“With tax season around the corner, hardworking New Yorkers cannot afford to lose money to scam artists, The tactics used by these fraudsters are reprehensible, but following a few basic tips can help protect you and your wallet.”

  • If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing.
  • Never give out personal information when you receive an unsolicited call.
  • A legitimate caller will never request that a conversation remain a secret.
  • You don’t have to be polite when you receive unsolicited phone calls. The safest thing to do is to say “no” and hang up

Attorney General Schneiderman reminds New Yorkers that in addition to being vigilant consumers, they should also report potential instances of fraud to his office.

Consumers are encouraged to file complaints by visiting the Office’s website or calling 1-800-771-7755.