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Police: Oklahomans being targeted by IRS telephone scam

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tax season is almost here, and police are warning residents about scams that are targeting Oklahomans.

On Jan. 12, officers received a phone call from a victim who said that he had received a call from a person claiming to be with the IRS. The suspect told the victim that there was a miscalculation on his last tax return and a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

At that point, the victim told police that the suspect hung up on him.

A short time later, the victim received a call from another suspect claiming to be a sheriff’s deputy.  The suspect then said that the IRS had told him that the victim would work out the tax issue, so he was going to put a hold on the warrant for the next 30 to 45 minutes.

According to the police report, the suspect hung up again and the original caller who claimed to be with the IRS called him back. The victim was told to go to a Walmart and get two gift cards to settle the tax issues.

The victim told officers that he went to Walmart and got two gift cards for $1,638. At that point, he gave the card information to the suspect.

The victim said that he then received another call from the suspect pretending to be a deputy who told him that there were court costs associated with the warrant that needed to be handled. He was told to go back to Walmart and do a wire transfer for $1,095 to a man out of New York.

At that point, the victim told police that he became suspicious and called 911.

Generic photo of taxes

The IRS has issued several warnings, and Oklahoma City police are wanting residents to be extremely cautious with their information. The IRS will not:

  • Call to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes in a certain way, especially with a prepaid debit card
  • The IRS will not ask for your credit or debit card number over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you.

If you don’t owe taxes, officials say you should not give out any information and hang up immediately.

You can report the scam and contact the Federal Trade Commission, and add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.