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Aug 20, 2015 6:35 PM

NH1 News Investigates IRS Imposters: Elderly Durham residents being targeted by off-shore callers


DURHAM - Imposter IRS agents are calling intended victims and demanding money.

It's yet another scam targeting the elderly with some folks in their 90s.

It may be an old scam, but it's targeting a different generation.

At least half a dozen elderly residents are calling police recently, telling them about the calls.

When asked if there’s a nature of fear involved, Durham Police Chief David Kurz said, “There is.”

The residents told the chief that the caller threatens them with jail time or be taken to court.

All they have to do, they are told from the foreign sounding voice on the other end of the line, is clear it up and just pay what they supposedly owe.

And there's a reason, the chief said, the scammers - from what appear to be off-shore locations - are targeting the older generation.

These intended victims actually believe it’s the IRS calling, he said, and they want to do the right thing.

“It's not by mistake,” Chief Kurz said. “It's very deliberate.”

This scam may be now to the town of Durham, but similar IRS scams have been around for years.

It's been on the IRS's radar since October of 2013 and it recently released numbers which present a very troubling trend.

They include:

- 4,000 victims

- $20 million lost

- 600,000 calls

"We continue to see these aggressive tax scams across the country,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Scam artists specialize in being deceptive and fooling people. The IRS urges taxpayers to be extra cautious and think twice before answering suspicious phone calls, emails or letters."

Chief Kurz agreed, saying the IRS already has all your account information so you don’t need to give them yours or fork over any money.

“They should either have it or they should be doing it in writing or in person,” Kurz said.

Remember, if you owe the IRS money, they will send you bills first, and they're likely never to call you.

If you suspect fraud or a scam, you’re urged to get in touch with the IRS.


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