BBB calls IRS scam an 'epidemic' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BBB calls IRS scam an 'epidemic'

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --The Better Business Bureau in Louisville is calling a scam hitting the area an "epidemic." Officials with the BBB say they have received hundreds of complaints and questions about it, but estimate that thousands have been called.

The scam involves someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service. BBB president Charlie Mattingly says the calls have a similar theme. It's not a new scam, but Mattingly says the tone of the calls has changed.

"They say 'We've reviewed your tax return, you owe money, you've got to pay up now,'" said Mattingly.

He says the scam is happening all over the nation, not just in our area. The IRS released a YouTube video in response.

"We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. Angry, harassing calls like these are not how we do business. The IRS does not call you about tax debt you owe without mailing you an official notice," the video says.

Mattingly says the angry, harassing tone is a new dimension to this hoax.

"The nature of the IRS scam seems to become more intimidating in recent weeks, more threatening -- if you don't do this right now, you'll be arrested," Mattingly said.

It's a threat Katie Visser found on her voicemail recently. 

"She (the caller) said she was from the IRS and that she'd have a state trooper come to my house and arrest me if I didn't pay the fine they were wanting me to pay," said Visser.

Visser says she was suspicious right off the bat so she Googled it.

"I did find there were a couple posts about it being a scam so I just let it go and didn't call back," she said.

Mattingly says victims should follow Visser's lead. He encourages people who have received the call to not answer or to hang up. If you do answer and talk, do not give out any personal information.

If you have received a similar call and are concerned, Mattingly suggests contacting the BBB or the IRS.

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