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IRS back taxes scam resurfaces
Local officials reporting numerous suspicious calls
scam alert

An old scam resurfaced in the Bulloch County area Thursday, with callers threatening to sue victims if they didn’t pay back taxes.
Both the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and Statesboro Police Department, as well as Bulloch County 911, fielded numerous calls Thursday about suspicious calls from people claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.
While most people are aware of whether or not they are in arrears with tax payments, many become confused and frightened and succumb to the demands. Callers ask victims to send money orders or put money on prepaid cards to make the false payments.
Tom Lavender received such a call, listening to it as a recorded message on his answering service. It sounded so real, it alarmed him at first, he said.
“I broke out in a sweat,” he said. The caller “said they were from the IRS, and this was a final notice, and if I didn’t respond they would file suit,”
The call sounded official, he said, “but I had a suspicion” it was a scam, he said.
A quick call to his accountant and to the police eased his mind. “Police said they had a lot of other calls like this,” he said.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Akins acknowledged his office received a rash of calls reporting the scam Thursday.
“The Bulloch County Sheriff’s office has received several complaints today from citizens who have been contacted by phone regarding supposedly back taxes,” he said. “The caller identifies himself as an IRS agent and claims that the citizen owes taxes from 2008 and 2009. Please do not send money or respond in any way to these calls. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of the call, please contact your local IRS office.”
To report scams, the IRS can be contacted by phone at 1-800-366-4484, or by email at www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.
“The IRS doesn’t make phone calls or use social media,” said Statesboro Police Cpl. Justin Samples. “They do not threaten or ask for personal information.”
He advises victims of the scam phone calls not never reveal information, especially financial information or account numbers, and never even acknowledge that you are the person they called, he said.
If citizens receive these calls, record the number from which the call originated if possible, hang up and call law enforcement or the IRS, he said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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