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National phone scam hits Rockford
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 7:44 PM EDT
By Elliot Grandia
ROCKFORD (WREX) -
A phone scam sweeping the nation is reported in the Rockford area. It involves the IRS and a scary ultimatum.
The scam's raked in about $5 million so far.
In all, an estimated 90,000 people have been called by a fake IRS agent demanding money.
Monday morning, Jeannette Weiss got that call. What she heard on the other line when she picked up shocked her.
"He just told me if I didn't do anything, I needed to obtain a lawyer or get arrested," Weiss said.
A man claiming to work for the IRS said Weiss owed the government money.
"I just froze and I was scared," Weiss said. " I couldn't figure why the IRS would be calling me."
She says the same number called three times.
These calls had her wondering if she would lose her cherished belongings or worse, her home. But before taking action, she contacted her social worker.
The two realized she and many others her age were targets of similar scammers.
The IRS say's if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you do:
If you believe you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to verify the call.
If you don't owe money or the caller sounds threatening, call the tax inspector general at 1-800-366-4484.
As for Weiss, she says she just hopes others will know how to take action against these scammers.
"I don't want anyone else to be in fear," Weiss said. "You may get these calls and need to be alerted that these calls are out there."
The IRS will never ask for credit, debit, or pre-paid card information over the phone.
It will also never insist taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations.
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