Highland News Leader

Attorney general: Hang up on phony IRS scams

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is alerting Illinois residents to a phone scam in which callers pose as IRS officials in an attempt to con people into sending money to pay for allegedly unpaid taxes.

Madigan has seen an increase in the number of calls to her office in recent weeks from residents throughout Illinois who have been contacted by scammers pretending to be government officials with false claims that the residents are under investigation or that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Scammers “spoof” caller ID devices and cause them to display what appears to be legitimate call from the IRS, with identifiers such “IRS” or the (202) area code for Washington, D.C. The scam artists on the other end of the line then claim they are representatives of the federal government collecting on unpaid taxes and instruct their targets to put money on a prepaid debit card and provide the number of the card to the scammers over the phone.

“The IRS will not seek money or personal information from you over the phone,” Madigan said. “If you receive a call like this, even if the caller ID shows a legitimate area code, hang up immediately.”

Madigan encouraged recipients of these solicitations to contact the government agency in question to report the call. She also urged Illinois residents to report the scam to her Consumer Fraud Bureau in Springfield at 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or or by visiting her website.

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