Beware of IRS scam calls, others

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

When talking to an unknown person over the phone, remember not to give out any personal or financial information that might put your personal identity in danger.

A resident in Pearl River County recently received three phone calls from unknown numbers representing the Internal Revenue Service, informing her that her tax returns were fraudulent and she would be arrested if she didn’t respond.

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“One, my wife wasn’t called by her name and two, she could tell it was a pre-recorded message,” Jeff Dow said. “She received two phone calls on Tuesday and received a third one on Wednesday morning with the same message but from a different number.”

Dow said the automated caller only informed her to call another number in order to “fix her tax issues.”

“My wife didn’t bother to call back since she knew it was a fake call,” Dow said. “If she called back, it might create fraudulent phone charges to our account, so she didn’t pay attention to it,” Dow said.

Jeremy Magri, Assistant Chief of the Picayune Police Department, said the IRS doesn’t collect money through the phone or in person.

“If there are any issues with your tax returns, the IRS will contact you through the mail,” Magri said. “The fake callers are persistent and will tell you that police officers are on their way to arrest you if you don’t cooperate, those claims are completely false.”

The best action a person can take when receiving such phone calls is to hang up and report it to their local law enforcement jurisdiction, Magri said.

According to, if someone receives a call from a person identifying themself as being with the IRS, that person should record the employee’s name, badge number, hang up and call 1-800-366-4484 to ensure the caller truly an employee of the IRS.

Also, anyone who receives an email that requests personal or tax information is advised not to click on any links and forward the email to before deleteing the original email afterwards.

“Nine out of 10 times, if the caller uses a scare tactic to obtain personal information, the call is a scam,” Magri said. “Heading into tax season, the fake phone calls will get higher but make sure to never give out any personal information.”