Tax Season 2018 – Protect Yourself and Your Money from Scammers — Chico Police Offer Safety Tips –

The Chico Police Department would like to remind the public to take caution and avoid becoming the victim of scammers targeting your personal information and/or your hard-earned income this tax season.

One of the more common scams which take place this time of year, involves individuals or “robo-calls” contacting residents and claiming to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials. In some cases, would-be victims are contacted via a phishing email. The caller demands you pay a phony tax bill immediately. The caller often threatens that if this phony tax bill is not paid, local law enforcement agents will be sent to arrest you or in some cases, threaten the individual with deportation. The Chico Police Department does not engage in any such activity, nor does the IRS.

Residents should take note scam callers will alter caller ID numbers to make it appear as if the call is originating from the IRS. The callers often use fake IRS titles and badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may also use the victim’s name, address, phone number and other personal information to make the call appear official.

There are several activities utilized by scammers which are signals you are not communicating with the IRS, as the IRS does none of the following:

·         Call demanding immediate payment, nor will the agency call about legitimate taxes owed without first mailing a bill

·         Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount indicated you owe

·         Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone

·         Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement agencies to arrest you for non-payment

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and you do not owe any taxes or have reason to believe you do, there are several steps you can take:

·         Do not give out any personal information. Hang up immediately. You can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call.

https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml   You can also call 1.800.366.4484.

·         Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complain Assistant” on https://www.ftc.gov/  Be sure to add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

·         If you know you owe or believe you may owe tax, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.

Tax scams can take place any time of year not just during tax season. Residents are encouraged to stay alert to various scams that use the IRS as a lure. For more information, visit the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/.

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Anonymous tips and information can be submitted to the Chico Police Department through our Crime Tip-line at 530.896.8477. Tipsters can also submit anonymous information via the Chico Police Department mobile app.

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