Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 02/15/2015

Beware of IRS telephone scams

As the tax season approaches, telephone scams from con artists are increasing. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office warns you to be smart and stay safe from these thieves.

Local law enforcement agencies report that one of the more prevalent scams circulating today involves someone purportedly calling from the Internal Revenue Service. The caller requests money for faulty tax returns, and threatens civil and criminal sanctions should the funds not be delivered. District Attorney Jill Ravitch reports that she was the recipient of such a call. “I heard a voice threatening me with arrest and jail if I didn’t return the call regarding an IRS matter. If I was not aware of the scams occurring, I might have been fooled into responding. Unfortunately many in our community have responded, and have been victimized as a result.”

Simply stated, if the IRS calls, it’s a scam. Hang up the phone. Don’t return the message. The IRS will never call on the phone in this context. If they need to correspond they will always send notice by U.S. Mail. According to Treasury Inspector, the loss attributed to this scam to date nationwide is over $14 million.

The IRS scam is one of many fraudulent online and telephonic schemes. Criminals pose as utility company employees, law enforcement officials, DMV agents, bridge toll representatives and a wide array of “bill collectors.” Some present themselves as sweepstakes officials and work from a carefully designed and highly persuasive script designed to convince the victim that they have won money. All the victim has to do, they say, is pay up-front taxes or other fees to claim winnings.

Today’s technology offers predators amazing abilities to disguise phone numbers and make caller I.D. systems display information that appears legitimate. Unfortunately, in some cases, devastating financial losses are often times extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover. Prosecution of the offenders is very difficult because of the inability to track the callers’ location and identities.

Many Sonoma County citizens have taken excellent precautionary measures to protect themselves from the myriad of ways in which identity thieves strike. However, be mindful that others might fall prey, so be sure to share this warning. Statistics reveal that older citizens are clearly over-represented as victims. Take the time to talk to your friends and family, particularly grandparents and older friends, about this looming threat. Also, take the opportunity to read more about this criminal activity by visiting reliable websites such as and where you can click on the “SCAM ALERT” icon. A great website to help protect seniors is

Recently Published:

05/15/2020 - SVCAC reviews Domino’s Pizza proposal
05/15/2020 - Prescribed burn for Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
05/15/2020 - Quarryhill opens up to members
05/15/2020 - SV Women's Club campaign for the homeless
05/15/2020 - SVFRA urges residents to plan ahead for fire season
05/15/2020 - Cuclis appointed to climate change panel
05/15/2020 - Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotary receives $10,000 matching grant
05/15/2020 - Landmark Vineyards donates $35,000 for COVID-19 relief
05/15/2020 - Fire districts working on budgets, finances
05/15/2020 - Transcendence Theatre goes virtual
05/15/2020 - Ticks don't social distance
05/15/2020 - Parks opened a little bit more
05/15/2020 - Structural hardening webinar
05/15/2020 - Glen Ellen salutes those who serve
05/15/2020 - Oakmont golfs again
05/15/2020 - Auction cancelled – KEF makes direct appeal
05/15/2020 - County chipping program available
05/15/2020 - Glen Ellen Resiliency Workshop
05/15/2020 - Supervisors to get update on wine events, traffic impacts
05/15/2020 - Local Restaurants providing take out and/or delivery
05/15/2020 - Food distribution in Kenwood, Glen Ellen
05/01/2020 - Local church services go online
05/01/2020 - Sonoma Valley Trail project receives tourist funds
05/01/2020 - Help SDC get a museum and historic status
05/01/2020 - Attend Glen Ellen Forum meeting online

Community Calendar

Laurel Glen Vineyards masterclass with Bettina Sichel