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Watch out for IRS phone scam

By: Erin Smith

Scam-AlertAt least one Bladen County resident says he has received a telephone call from a scammer claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.

Everett Butler of Bladenboro said he was away from home and upon his return he found a voice mail message on his answering service. The message requested that Butler call a New York telephone number. The telephone number that was left on Butler’s answering service is 315-207-3091.

The caller told Butler that if he called the number, he would learn more about his case; however, the caller neglected to give Butler a case number to give the operator who answered his call.

Butler said he has been in law enforcement during most of his working life and he was familiar with how some of these scams operate. He added he had been reading in some newspapers and on the internet about this particular scam and recognized it immediately as the message played.

“I am aware the IRS write a letter first, then they send you a registered letter, then they send someone. They don’t make phone calls,” said Butler.

He added that many residents who are unfamiliar with the scam could very easily fall for it. The way the scam works is the caller claims to be an IRS agent and demands money and threatens to sue if the victim does not pay. The victim is then directed to call a certain number to make their payment over the phone.

“These people are smart,” said Butler of the scammers.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper has some tips to offer folks to stay safe from this or other scams. Cooper warns folks to safe guard their personal information including Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or credit cards; don’t pay any money up front for services, loans or other items; and don’t deposit checks and agree to wire money to anyone.

For more ways to keep yourself safe from scammers click here.


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