IRS on the phone? Not likely
Plenty of folks have received a call from someone claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service demanding back taxes.
But after 20 calls in two days, Gardnerville resident Nina Wood doesn’t pick up the phone anymore unless she knows who’s on the other end.
Wood said she has never given them any money.
Her son picked up the first call and told her someone from the IRS called.
“I called them and told them I don’t owe the IRS anything,” she said. “Then he started screaming and yelling, and threatening me. So I said to come to my front door and arrest me.”
Since then she’s received several calls a day, but she won’t pick up the phone.
“I did go online and talked to the IRS,” she said. I got two emails that my complaint has been listed.”
Wood had her husband, who works at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center, announce that calls from the IRS are a scam.
“I was getting so many they were coming every half-hour,” she said. “The were not all coming from the same place. I’ve never experienced this. They are going after seniors.”
Ruhenstroth resident H.K. Robinson said that with all the resources of the U.S. government there should be a way to track the callers to where they are.
Robinson, 71, said he gave them false information when they called.
“They told me I had to go out and get some money,” he said. “I told them I didn’t have a cell phone and they said I need to borrow one to stay on the line.”
Robinson wrote a letter to Sen. Dean Heller asking that he force the IRS to do something about the calls.
“The CIA has the resources to find these people and stop them,” Robinson said.
In his reply to Robinson, Heller pointed out that the IRS doesn’t make unsolicited phone calls for payment, or ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Officials from the Federal Trade Commission advise anyone who receives one of these calls not to respond.
According to a bulletin on the commission’s web site, the IRS won’t tell someone to use a specific form of payment like MoneyPak or Reloadit, or a gift card from iTunes or Amazon. Those ways to pay are hard to track or cancel.
If you or someone you know receives a call like this, report it the FTC and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Include the caller’s phone number, along with any details you have. If you’re not sure whether a call is really from the IRS, you can double-check by calling the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.