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Officials: Beware of scammers claiming to work for the IRS

Officials asked anyone who believes they may have been a victim of these scams to call 911 immediately.

Nassau County officials are warning residents to beware of phone calls and emails from people claiming to be Internal Revenue Service employees and saying that the recipient of the call or a family member owes the federal agency money.

County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder issued the warning in a joint news release Thursday.

“It has come to the attention of the Nassau County Police Department that individuals are receiving calls from persons claiming that they or a family member owe money for unpaid taxes,” the release said. “These victims are told they can avoid arrest, foreclosure or suspension/termination of services if they make payment.”

But the officials said the IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor will it request a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They also warned the scam may include the following:

  • Scammers using fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims may hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.

After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or Department of Motor Vehicles, with the caller ID apparently supporting their claim.

In addition to the IRS scam, Curran and Ryder noted that there are other unrelated schemes that have been brought to the attention of authorities “from time to time,” including a lottery sweepstakes and solicitations for such things as debt relief.

“These scams cost honest citizens thousands of unrecoverable dollars,” the release added.

Officials asked anyone who believes they may have been a victim of these scams to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the individual or people involved in such scams is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477. All calls will remain anonymous.

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