Police: Phony IRS phone threats targeting residents


Westport Police say they have received several resident complaints regarding phone calls from a person claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.  The caller requests payment for money owed to the government agency and warns that failure to do so will prompt legal action including arrest.

Detective Sergeant Antonio Cestodio said that the scammers leave a return phone number that, when answered, identifies itself as the IRS.  Victims are asked to wire a cash payment to them immediately to avoid government action.

The Internal Revenue Service is aware of this scam, he said, and recommends the following on their web site for those who get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:

• If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can assist with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

• If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Similar calls may be reported to the Westport Police 508-636-1122.



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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.