Now that tax season has passed and some residents might be worried about owing the government money, a new group of tax scammers has hit the telephones.
In the latest scam, criminals are calling unsuspecting residents and telling them that they have a warrant issued for their arrest due to unpaid or delinquent taxes, according to police.
The scammer usually says that the sheriff or police are waiting on their call to arrest them. They will even use local information such as stating that the warrant was filed at the county courthouse. The scammer will then say the only way they will dismiss the warrant is to pay over the phone with some sort of gift card, police said.
The scammer will have then have the victim drive to a local store, purchase thousands of dollars on gift cards and then read the account number over the phone. Once the money is transferred, it's too late.
Unfortunately, these calls are generally traced back to an overseas country and there is absolutely nothing police can do to get the money back.
In order to not get caught in the scam, residents should remember that the IRS almost always communicates through the U.S. Postal Service and never contacts taxpayers through email, text or social media channels.
In addition, the IRS says they never demand payment without giving taxpayers a chance to question or appeal the amount owed.
The best way to keep from being scammed is to either hang up or ask for a name and a call back number and then call the police.