Online Staff Report
In the past few days, the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has seen a dramatic increase in the number of calls from consumers who have received calls from scammers posing as IRS officials. The Rockford 911 Center reports they have seen a similar surge in calls from residents.
All callers to the BBB report that whether the calls are answered or received as voice mails they are very threatening in nature. They say they have been threatened with legal action, foreclosure and jail.
Dennis Horton, director of the BBB’s Rockford Regional Office, said, “Today, we’ve received calls at a rate of two or three every 10 minutes.” While they are only taking reports, the 911 Center says their concern is that their calls from residents have come mainly from the elderly.
Horton added, “It’s a good guess to say the increased activity with this scam is prompted by the fact that the scam works.”
Consumers should be aware that according to the IRS, the agency never contacts taxpayers by phone asking for money. They also never contact taxpayers by email. If there is an issue with the IRS that requires response, the contact would be made by U.S. mail.
If you receive one of these scam phone calls, the BBB recommends the following:
• Hang up — Don’t provide any information over the phone. Call the IRS directly using the phone number found on their website or in the phone book.
• Protect personal information — In response to an incoming call, never give out any personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name or any passwords and other identifying information.
• Contact the FCC — Let the Federal Communications Commission know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or file a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints.
• Contact the FTC — File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam.”
For more about scams, visit www.bbb.org.
Posted Nov. 14, 2014