PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s tax season and you may be getting a call from someone saying they’re from the IRS. If you do, don’t believe them, it’s a scam.
It’s taken thousands of people nationwide.
When the phone rang recently at Greg Pallus’s Leechburg home, the caller said he was from the IRS and that Pallus owed them money.
“That I would have to send money, that I would have to do something to get them off my back basically, and they weren’t taking no for answer,” said Pallus.
It’s the biggest scam in the nation, and perhaps the most successful, preying on people’s fears that the federal government would ruin their finances, and even throw them in jail.
“It’s widespread and they don’t seem to ever stop,” says Treasury agent Tom Czerski.
Through November, thousands of Pennsylvanians have been taken, forking over $717,000 to these con artists pretending to by IRS agents – that’s $26.5 million nationwide.
Treasury Agent Tom Czerski is trying to get the word out to the public, especially the elderly, telling them they might get such a call this tax season, but do not be fooled.
“They’re calling anybody and everybody they can, as often as they can, and it just seems that they’re being successful with the generation that maybe isn’t as skeptical when they get that kind of phone call,” said Czerski.
The IRS will not call you asking for money. If they have a tax issue with you, they’ll send a letter.
The Treasury Department advises you to hang up and report the incident at their website TIGTA.gov where you’ll find a form.
Pallus wasn’t duped but called KDKA so others won’t be.
“Vulnerable people, they get a call saying you owe money, send the money, and they get scared so they automatically send it. I just don’t think that’s a good thing. And that’s why I felt that reporting it to you would be important, so that you can get information out to people to say, ‘hey, don’t listen to these folks, don’t pay attention to them, and don’t let them take advantage of you,’” Pallus said.