BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — Tax season isn’t just a busy time for people trying to get their returns – it’s also a busy time for scammers.
And police say this is more true than ever in Beaver County.
Several Beaver County residents have received phone calls from people pretending to be with the IRS, saying they would be arrested unless they coughed up money they owed.
Todd Moser played a recording that said, “We have been trying to reach you. This is officially the final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service.”
“So when I called that number, a gentleman identified himself as Jay Taylor, Senior Agent Jay Taylor, Badge No. 77163,” said Moser.
Moser was on the phone for more than 30 minutes, said Taylor was a fast talker, and Moser had a lot of questions.
“He had an answer for everything I seemed to say,” Moser said.
Moser says he was told by a guy with an Indian accent that he had been audited and he owned more than $3,100 — and if he didn’t pay, he would be arrested by the Beaver County Sheriff George David and his bank accounts would be frozen.
Moser was told to go to the sheriff’s office after he electronically transferred the funds, but he knew better — these scammers had the wrong guy.
“I knew when I heard EFT (electronic funds transfer), in doing what I do for a living, I know what that is,” Moser said. “I’m a financial manager with an electric distributor. I said, ‘buddy, when I give you this info, the money will be gone.'”
The caller on Moser’s phone made everything appear legitimate.
“The number that came up was the court house number, 724-728-5700,” he said. “Somehow, they tapped into that.”
“It’s coming out of country,” said Sheriff David. “Some from India, some from Canada.”
David is upset his name is being used in these scams and has this warning:
“Anybody calls you and tells you that they are the IRS, or the FBI, just hang up on them.”
David says Moser isn’t the only person to be targeted. In fact, two other people came to his home who were upset.
Previously, the IRS has said that it will notify people by mail who owed money.
Security experts advise to ask for a call back number and employee number if you’re unsure, then to contact the IRS to verify whether it’s a legitimate employee.
Be sure to watch out for these other scams, listed here.