IRS PHONE SCAMS ARE HITTING TOWN OF BINGHAMTON (AND 607 AREA CODE)

Posted on July 6, 2017 -- An IRS scam is hitting our area, and we want to make our residents aware.  An elderly couple in the Park Terrace area reported to us late yesterday afternoon that they were nearly scammed by a caller identifying himself as an IRS agent.  The couple asked us to pass this information on so that others don’t fall prey to the same scam.  Here is what happened:    

The couple received a call on their home phone yesterday from someone indicating they were from the IRS.  The caller stated that the couple was delinquent on their taxes, and the debt needed to be paid immediately.  Coincidentally, the couple knew that when they paid their taxes earlier in the year, they had forgotten to send in the payment stub with their tax payment.  Even though it was a minor issue, the caller was so convincing that the couple became concerned that maybe the IRS wasn’t able to verify the money they had sent in without the stub.  Once convinced, the couple was told that there was a warrant for their arrest and payment needed to be paid immediately.  The caller asked the couple to provide their cell phone number so that they could stay on the phone while they were advised to drive to the local CVS to purchase five ITunes gift cards -- four $100 cards and one $50 card.  (The caller, by the way, seemed quite concerned for the couple’s safety, telling them to be careful as they drove.)  Once at CVS, the couple fortunately told the CVS clerk what was going on, and the clerk paged the manager who informed the couple that it was indeed a scam.  The couple then hung up the phone and drove to the Town Hall to report the incident.  While at Town Hall, Becky contacted the New York State Police who asked the couple to place an official report.  We learned that IF the couple had purchased the ITunes gift cards, the scammer would have asked for the numbers on the back, and once the scammer had those numbers, they could cash the cards in.  We are so very thankful our couple is safe and sound, and we don’t want this to happen to anyone else.   

According to Jan Strnatka, chairwoman of our local Neighborhood Watch group, she, too, received a similar call yesterday.  Jan reported the scam to the NY State Police, and the State Police told her to call the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-771-7755.  She was also told to call the US Inspector General’s Office at 1-800-366-4484.  It was highly recommended to file a report by going to the following website: https://www.tax.ny.gov (On the Home page, look under Resolve An Issue -- Report Fraud, scams, identity theft). 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The Attorney General’s office told Jan that the scammers are obviously hitting the 607 area code right now so people need to be aware.  ALSO, THE IRS WILL NEVER CONTACT ANYONE BY PHONE. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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