The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office said they have received numerous complaints and questions regarding calls county residents have answered where a threatening recorded message claims to be the IRS.
The Edmonson Voice also received the same call several times. The message says they are the IRS and that the resident has taxes that are past due. The message even claims that the resident is in trouble with police or other authorities. They request that you call a listed number to pay the balance immediately, which is nothing more than an attempt to steal your personal information or worse.
"The IRS will never call you and ask for any information," said Sheriff Shane Doyle. "If you get a call like this, just simply hang up, it's a scam."
He also advised to never give personal information over the phone. Sometimes reputable companies or organizations that have dealt with the individual before will already have the needed info, but will ask you to verify the info with very limited information, such as the last four digits of an account or a social security number.
"We know of a case where a national bank called one of our citizens and said they thought the customer's account had been compromised," Doyle said. "They asked the citizen to verify their account along with some other questions. The citizen refused to give any info and requested that he be called by someone in a local branch. The bank obliged, and he received a call from the local branch within a few minutes."
Doyle said the citizen did the right thing by asking the caller to properly identify himself first.
"Legitimate callers will take the time to do what you need them to," he said. "If something seems off, it probably is. If you feel uncomfortable with the caller, just hang up. If it's important, they'll find another way to contact you where there will be no question."
Unfortunately, he said there's not a lot that his department can do with the calls. "These types of calls are nearly untraceable, so they're virtually impossible to track. If you've answered a call like this and given any info, have a credit report done immediately and flag your accounts. We can initiate a stolen identity report asap."