Better Business Bureau warns of growing IRS phone scam - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Better Business Bureau warns of growing IRS phone scam

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If you would like to report a scam on the BBB's scam tracker on their website. If you would like to report a scam on the BBB's scam tracker on their website.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a scary call to get when you hear someone claiming you owe the IRS money -- but it's more than likely a scam.

Thousands of people are getting those phone calls or voicemails. But the Better Business Bureau says that's not how the Internal Revenue Service does business.

"I have a tax prepare who keeps me up to speed on everything, I don't touch it, he takes care of it," said Tim Whitaker.

Whitaker is retired and said he doesn't owe anyone money these days. That's why he knew a threatening phone message claiming to be from the IRS was a fake.

"The reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing lawsuit against you," said a voice message on his phone.

"I really didn't think anything about it, but the next day I got another one and later in the week, I got a third call," said Whitaker.

After several messages, Whitaker called his tax man.

"He says, 'yeah, if the IRS wants to get in touch with you, they'll do it by mail,'" Whitaker said.

"It has been a huge problem here and across the country," explained Reanna Smith-Hamblin, Vice President of Communications for the BBB.

Smith-Hamblin said the IRS Scam is actually paying off for the scammers.

"People are frightened by the call and therefor do send them money," he said.

The problem is so big the BBB is now using a new feature called Scam Tracker for consumers to report problems.

"We're allowing consumers to go online -- go to our website and report scams -- live scams," Smith-Hamblin said.

Tim Whitaker knew the IRS call was fake.

"Oh yeah, I knew, there was no doubt in my mind," he said.

He's sharing his story to make sure everyone else knows it's a scam.

"I can see older people really getting nervous and worried about it and wanting to get this off of their back," Whitaker said.

If you would like to report a scam on the BBB's scam tracker, just click here.

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