Lake Saint Louis Police Chief Michael Force cautions residents not to fall for a phone call scam from the IRS.
A resident recently called the department and reported an incident about a phone scam. The resident received a call claiming he owed money to the IRS and needed to pay it. The scammer instructed the resident that if he didn’t pay he would be contacted by local law enforcement.
The resident, convinced it was a phone scam, ended the call. He received another call a short time later where the caller falsely alleged he was an Officer from the Lake Saint Louis Police Department who was contacted by the IRS. The caller then directed the victim to pay what he owed the IRS.
The resident ended the call. When the resident looked at his caller ID the number that was displayed was 636-625-8018, which is the Lake Saint Louis Police Department’s phone number.
Technology involving a phone app makes it possible to display a false number on caller ID. Suspicious incidents such as this should be reported to your local police department.
A similar scam currently being perpetrated involves receiving a phone call claiming that you have missed jury duty and a warrant is being sworn out for your arrest. You are advised that you have an opportunity to post bond in lieu of the warrant but that it will be entered in 10 minutes. After that it will be too late. The caller normally identifies themselves as a representative of the court and advises that you can pay by phone.
Courts do not make phone calls to residents asking them to make payments over the phone. Again, you should report this or other suspicious activity to your local police department as soon as possible.
Here are a few tips to always remember and some advice per the IRS website:
- The IRS will NEVER call to demand immediate payment nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- The IRS will NEVER demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- The IRS will NEVER require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- The IRS will NEVER ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- The IRS will NEVER threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you happen to get one of these phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS and they are asking for money, hang up immediately.