New wave of IRS phone scam calls hits northeast Ohio

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(Courtesy: Mark Hill/CNN)

NORTHEAST OHIO – A number of area police departments are warning residents of a new wave of Internal Revenue Service scam calls.

Mayfield Heights, Highland Heights, Bay Village, Westlake and Rocky River have all received reports from residents who have gotten calls from someone claiming to be an IRS agent or a Federal Magistrate employee. The caller demands that the person who answers the phone must send money or payments for back taxes or current taxes. Often, they say that the money may be paid with a debit card, a wire transfer or a check. The caller threatens to arrest the homeowner if the money is not paid. Bay Village had over 100 residents report such calls on Thursday.

The callers also use robocall machines, fake IRS badge numbers and may even know the last four numbers of the victim’s social security number.  Scammers have also sent bogus emails to the victim and have called back a number of times claiming to be the police or the department of motor vehicles. Do not trust caller ID in these cases: the scammers can make it look as if the calls are coming from legitimate agencies.

Some of the numbers that the calls are coming from include: 216-342-6121 and  216.842.6125. These are not real phone numbers.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS who asks for payment over the phone (the IRS does not do this), you can contact US Treasury Tax Inspector General by clicking here or call them at 800.366.4484 to report the scam. You can  contact the Ohio Attorney General phone scam hotline at 1-800-282-0515. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by clicking here.  Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.