Calls from scammers claiming to be with the I-R-S continue popping up around Minnesota, most recently in Stearns, Saint Louis, Itasca, Swift and Kandiyohi counties. One received by a Willmar area resident started like this: “Hi, this is Tax Crime Investigation Unit of I-R-S. The reason you are receiving this pre-recorded message is to notify you that I-R-S has issued an arrest warrant against you.”
The Better Business Bureau’s Lisa Jemtrud says the I-R-S would never make a phone call demanding payment and making threats. She says, “If someone says that you didn’t pay your taxes and you’re going to be arrested, people worry, the fear factor goes up, and when that happens, the scam artists strike, because they know when people have those high emotions, they don’t take time to research something and they act quickly.”
Jemtrud says the latest twist on the scam is that someone may call and say “you paid your taxes, but you didn’t pay them in full.” She says it’s a little more believable to people who know they did in fact pay their taxes, but it’s plausible that they made a mistake. Scam artists are capitalizing on that, she says.
Officials say never give personal information over the phone and if you get a suspicious call, hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.