Sheriff Mark Bowen is warning residents of another possible scam currently in progress in Hamilton County. On Oct. 18, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a Fishers resident who was the potential victim of a scam.
In the course of two days, the victim was called by different people claiming to work for the IRS. Deputy Bryant Orem said the complainant was told he had filed his taxes incorrectly for the past 10 years and if he did not pay a penalty, a warrant would be issued for his arrest. The complainant was asked to go to a grocery store and get a tax voucher to send money to the IRS for the penalty. If he did not comply a warrant would be issued for his arrest.
A different suspect later called the complainant and said he was an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and would be issuing an arrest warrant if he did not comply. Orem said the complainant called the sheriff’s office and learned there was no employee with that name and no warrants were being issued.
“The Sheriff’s Office wants to warn the public that it does not issue warrants for tax issues with the IRS and will not call and threaten to arrest a citizen for tax issues,” Orem stated. “Any person that calls asking for money to be sent by wire transfer or some type of pre-paid visa card for any reason is more than likely a scam and to use caution.”
The IRS has been contacted regarding this matter and confirmed that the IRS will always attempt to contact a taxpayer by mail first. Orem stated it is very unlikely that a taxpayer will not know they have an outstanding balance prior to receiving a call. If a taxpayer receives a phone call from someone claiming to be calling from the IRS they should know the agency will never ask for payment to be made by a specific method or specific brand of credit card.
“IRS agents are strictly prohibited from being vulgar or abusive to taxpayers, any such behavior should be reported immediately to the treasury inspector general for tax administration. If an individual is contacted by the IRS, they can always ask for the agent’s ID number or ask to speak with a supervisor,” Orem stated. “If there is any question about a taxpayer’s federal tax situation or if a taxpayer wishes to check if they have an outstanding federal tax debt they can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.”