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 www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud and www.consumer.ftc.gov where you can click on the “SCAM ALERT” icon. A great website to help protect seniors is www.ncpw.gov/resource-topics/scam-alert.



Recently Published:

11/01/2019 - Vehicle regulations threaten free bookmobile outreach program
11/01/2019 - Seedlings for the future...
11/01/2019 - It’s time to pay attention to groundwater
11/01/2019 - The bears are back
11/01/2019 - Major fire district reorganization gets going
11/01/2019 - Third-party administrator urges people to apply to Wildfire Assistance Program
11/01/2019 - Bouverie Preserve selects design firm to move forward with fire rebuild
11/01/2019 - Impacts of power shutoffs widespread and expensive
11/01/2019 - Farmer fire relief
11/01/2019 - Country road clean-up in Glen Ellen
11/01/2019 - Tree crashes into Kenwood house
11/01/2019 - Urban planners chosen to create SDC Specific Plan
11/01/2019 - KCC Annual Holiday Potluck set for Dec. 4
10/15/2019 - Rangers sue to stop theater expansion
10/15/2019 - Rebuilding by the numbers
10/15/2019 - Business as usual?
10/15/2019 - Little pumpkins...
10/15/2019 - Dunbar alum chosen to fill vacant board seat
10/15/2019 - Recovering, reimagining, rebuilding
10/15/2019 - Scouting out a good spot...
10/15/2019 - A new vision for upper Sonoma Creek
10/15/2019 - Blessed are the Bernese...
10/15/2019 - New council applications sought
10/15/2019 - Sonoma Valley fire squads get big grant
10/01/2019 - New council applications sought

Community Calendar

Horszowski Trio plays in Oakmont
11/14/2019
more...
Free food available for those in need
11/15/2019
more...
Forest Therapy
11/16/2019
more...
Join Bill and Dave on the Sonoma Ridge Trail
11/16/2019
more...
Glen Ellen/Kenwood Friends Feast
11/17/2019
more...
Free food available for those in need
11/19/2019
more...
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood meeting
11/20/2019
more...
Jackie Speier at Sonoma Speaker Series
11/22/2019
more...
Shoot for the stars at Ferguson Observatory
11/23/2019
more...
Emmaus Inclusive Community service and potluck supper
11/24/2019
more...
Thanksgiving Break Day Camp
11/26/2019
more...


Weather Underground PWS KCAKENWO2