A rash of scam phone solicitations claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service has prompted the Southold Town police to advise residents that the IRS will never call to make tax payment demands.
Police Chief Martin Flatley said Thursday in a statement that the department issued the advisory following “an influx of complaints from Southold Town/Greenport Village residents” regarding the scam attempts.
The callers, police said, claim to be IRS representatives — and tell residents they must make “immediate payment” of back taxes. As part of the scam, police said recipients of the calls are then given instructions on how to pay the bogus tax bill with “a prepaid debit card” or how to send a wire transfer to cover the demanded payments. Police said the caller also sometimes threatens the recipient with arrest.
As a reminder, Flatley said, it is important to know that the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment of any debt; it will send a tax bill in the mail. Also, police said, the IRS will not demand you pay taxes without allowing you to question or appeal the amount owed via a hearing.
The IRS also will not ask for a credit card or debit card number in a phone conversation and will not threaten to send police or other law enforcement agencies to arrest you for not immediately paying any outstanding bill.
Police said if you do get a call making any of these demands, hang up immediately.
Do not give out any information.