Phone scam warning: Alert issued for fake I.R.S. calls

- It's tax season and the Internal Revenue Service is warning about a phone scam that targets taxpayers. 

This is a huge scam and it's paying off for the con artists. The I.R.S. says since October 2013, there have been more than 5,000 victims and it's cost them a little more than $26 million.

The message from the I.R.S. to taxpayers: if they need to get a hold of you, the agency doesn't call you directly, they send letters.

"They're telling you that you owe tax and you probably don't, they'll tell you that if you don't pay immediately today, that they're going to send out the local police to arrest you or take away a driver's license or some other item," explained Bill Brunson of the I.R.S.' Media Relations Department.

A FOX 10 viewer targeted by the scam sent us a phone call:

"My name is Officer Peter Williams from the I.R.S. and we called you as certain attorney's information there are some legal obligations and a lawsuit has been filed against you by the IRS... And for this reason, the local authorities.. an arrest warrant will come at your place, your driver's license will be cancelled, everything under your name, your property, your bank account, everything will be [inaudible] in a couple of hours and you might get arrested for federal imprisonment for up to five years."

"So there's a lot of things that are kind of red flags for that person that receives that phone call, says Brunson."

He says if you receive one of these calls, simply hang up your phone.

"We're not going to dictate the terms of payment, we're not going to ask you for personal or financial information over the phone and we're not going to threaten you with arrest or some other item to cause harm."

The I.R.S. says nearly one million people have been contacted by scammers.

Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

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