Beware of phony IRS agent phone calls

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As the income tax filing season winds down it seems like the IRS telemarketing scam is cranking up to a level that is annoying.

The week of April 10, Julio O'Neal received a phone call.

"It seemed real," he said. "Is it real?"

A few weeks earlier, March 21, Isabella Fabella received a similar phone call.

"They called and said if I don't return the call I will face legal consequences," she said.

The two common threads in the phone calls are the person calling claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service, and there is always a threat of legal consequences, including arrests.

"I knew it was bogus," said Fabella. "I don't owe the IRS anything."

The Northeast Florida Better Business Bureau has issued a consumer alert regarding the IRS Scam.

"We started getting calls throughout the area from Georgia to Florida that this was happening," said Tom Stephens with the Better Business Bureau. Stephens described it as a telemarketing scam.

"What they're tend to do is try to talk to the woman of the house," he said. "Apparently they feel she would be more easily intimidated."

Stephens said the message is very simple, the IRS will never call a taxpayer about a past due tax bill.

"We want people to know it is completely bogus, completely fake," he said.

Fact is the IRS will always contact a taxpayer the traditional way, by letter. So If you get the call from a so-called IRS agent and it is threatening, hang up the phone.


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