Cops warn of IRS scam

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2015


Both the Opp Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are reminding people to be careful if they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

A local resident, who asked to remain anonymous also called the Star-News to say she had received a voicemail message from someone claiming to be an IRS agent.

The resident said she knew of two people who had been duped by the scam.

“They were trying to sound official,” she said. “I want people to understand they don’t have to fall for it.”

The resident said the scammer claimed she and her husband were going to be in trouble for tax fraud.

“Over the past several days, residents in south Alabama as well as the Florida panhandle have received telephone calls from individuals representing themselves as IRS employees,” said OPD Chief Mike McDonald. “These individuals attempt to obtain the resident’s bank account numbers and in some cases have threatened them with possible fines.”

District Attorney Walt Merrell said the scammer claims the residents owe back taxes and has a judgment against them.

“If the resident does not pay immediately, they will be arrested,” he said. “Don’t fall for this scam. If you think you owe back taxes, contact a legitimate accountant and have them make an inquiry. Or call the IRS yourself.”

McDonald agreed.

“Rest assured that if the IRS thinks that you owe them money, you will receive a letter from the IRS and it will have a phone number that you can call in order to obtain additional information,” he said. “Do not provide these individuals with any personal information. Hang the phone up.”