(Jan. 11, 2019) A scam to con residents out of potentially thousands of dollars has made its way to Ocean City, with this one involving an IRS impersonator.
The Ocean City Police Department is advising residents that a caller, impersonating an IRS worker, often demands immediate payment for unpaid taxes.
In some instances, police said the caller would threaten an arrest if the victim did not comply. Area residents said the imposter would often have the victim’s personal information, use false IRS badge numbers or titles, or change the caller identification to show the IRS calling the victim.
The IRS has provided tips to help residents identify suspicious calls, especially those that demand immediate payment, won’t giving the victim an opportunity to question or appeal, requires a specific payment method such as a debit or gift card, asks for credit card information, or threatens to call the police or law enforcement to arrest the victim for not paying.
The IRS mails a bill to anyone with outstanding taxes and does not call people to demand immediate payment, police said.
Lindsay Richard, public information for the Ocean City Police Department, said the department receives calls about various scams year-round, but got more calls during December, as it coincides with the holiday season.
“It’s really easy to fall for this stuff, so it’s always good for us to put out reminders of what to look out for,” she said.
Richard went on to say she’s often heard people question how someone could become a victim of a scam, but she emphasized that anyone could be susceptible.
“You’ve heard stories of people being out thousands of dollars and people you’d never really expect,” she said. “People who are highly educated can still fall for this stuff and be out thousands of dollars of money.
“One thing I say is always trust your intuition when you get these scam call[s],” Richard said. “If it doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not right.”
For more information, about tax scams and consumer alerts agency’s tax scams and consumer alerts, visit the agency’s website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.