Local authorities warn of scammers posing as the IRS this tax season
Local authorities are urging residents to take precaution with several cases of scammers posing as the IRS.
They say it usually starts with a phone call from the scammer asking you to provide your tax filing information. It may even end in threats to involve local law enforcement if you don't comply.
That was the case for one viewer who did not want to be interviewed who says she received a voicemail.
"We've just received a notification regarding your tax filing from the headquarters which will get expired in the next 24 working hours," the voicemail left by a scammer said. "You will be taken under custody by local police as there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment," it went on.
Tax experts with H&R Block and Chattanooga Police say she's just one of many.
"People keep falling victim for it. It's called fishing. They just keep doing it and doing it and eventually somebody's going to bite," he said.
Detective Larry Lockmiller with the Chattanooga Police Department say love is in the air--a love of scamming.
"They will tell you on the phone: 'give us your social security number, give us your birth date'. Don't do it," said H & R Block Spokesman Johnny Owens.
While many are busy this tax season filing for their own tax refunds, others are trying to find a way to get yours by any means.
"Since 2013, people have lost $23 million by falling victim to IRS scams alone," Lockmiller told Channel 3.
H&R Block spokesperson Johnny Owens says if you ever get a call like the above-mentioned, it's okay to hit the block button because it's a sure sign of a scammer calling.
"People who call and say: 'we're calling from the IRS and we are going to send a deputy out to your house to arrest you if you don't pay right now'. The IRS does not do business by the phone or by social media or by e-mail. You'll get a letter from the IRS before anything else happens," Owens explained.
In fact, Lockmiller says local law enforcement do not have anything to do with the tax filing process and if it were really the IRS contacting you, they wouldn't be asking for information they already have.
"Whether you owe or you're getting paid by the IRS, they already have your account information to deposit or take the money out, so they're not going to call and ask for it again," he said.
Owens says filing early is the best way to avoid issues so whether you're spending this Valentine's Day alone or with a significant other, take a moment to take care of business.
READ MORE | Channel 3's Scam Alert section
Lockmiller says if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for your tax information or money you can contact the IRS at 1-800-366-4484.