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Resident warns of tax scam

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

A local Andalusia man was caught in the middle of an IRS scam that almost made him lose $6,400.

Jerry Cooper had just gotten home from work when he received a call from an unknown number. It turned out to be a person claiming to be from the IRS saying that Cooper’s tax returns from last year were fraudulent.

“I was tired from working all day, so that had to be why I didn’t think about not answering,” Cooper said. “It sounded pretty legitimate, like he had done this several times before.”

Cooper said that the man on the other end of the phone told him that he could either fix the problem for $6,400 which would be a deal because usually to fix the problem it would cost $75,000.

“Stuff like this shouldn’t be allowed,” Cooper said. “People are losing a lot of money to these fraud IRS agents, I’m just lucky I wasn’t as gullible.”

The IRS issued a statement on Fri., Feb. 2, advising people on what to do if a scammer calls them.

A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam, 800-366-4484.