IRS phone scam targets SCV seniors

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At least half a dozen Santa Clarita Valley seniors received a frightening phone call from the Internal Revenue Service this week demanding immediate payment for alleged tax violations – or so they thought.

The phone call was not from the IRS but from callous liars trying to cheat old people out of their money.

“We are still receiving sporadic reports of individuals who have fell victim to phone scams,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Thursday.

“Some of the scams reported have involved individuals posing to be an IRS agent,” she said. “Unfortunately, in many of the cases, the victims are elderly and on limited incomes.”

According to Sgt. Mike Wright, of the Crime Prevention Unit, the IRS will never threaten to send police to arrest you for not paying.

“They will never ask for credit card information over the phone or ask that you pay your taxes in a certain way, such as with prepaid debit cards,” Wright said.

One SCV senior called The Signal Tuesday to report that he and three other seniors had received a threatening phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS.

“They told me that a person can be sued for back taxes,” the senior said. “And, they told me to call (a second) phone number right away.

“We have senior citizens here in Santa Clarita being hit with this,” he said. “Two of my neighbors got the same type of call.”

Last month, an 85-year-old SCV grandmother wired $2,100 to thieves who phoned her saying her grandson needed money immediately in order for him to be released  from jail.

She learned only later, when the scammers tried to bilk her for more money, that the phone call was fraudulent.

Officials at the local sheriff’s station have advice for anyone receiving a phone call from someone saying they’re from the IRS.

“If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately and do not provide any information,” Miller said.

“If you think you might owe taxes, contact the IRS directly at their designated number.”

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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