In recent days, many recorded calls have been going to cell phones and home phones in northern California.
Some messages begin with, "This call is from I.R.S. Internal Revenue Service,” and continue, “The issue is extremely urgent and time sensitive situation for you. This is officer Vin Skupa and direct hotline to my division is (202)...."
"Officer Vin Skupa" is not with the Internal Revenue Service. But, Karen Connelly is. She says this most recent round of calls from scammers that include demands and threats.
"They may ask you for a credit or a debit card number or maybe to go get a prepaid debit card and load it with a certain amount of money," says Connelly. "Also, they may threaten to bring in the police or other local law enforcement groups, have you arrested if you don't pay right away. This is a clear sign this is a scam."
The message left by “Officer Skupa” does sound ominous, “If you don't return this call and I don't hear from your attorney either, the only thing I can do for you is wish you very good luck as the situation badly unfolds on you."
Connelly says you should never give any personal or banking information over the phone. The IRS does not ask for debit or credit card numbers. If you're not sure if you are in trouble with the IRS, you can always call them.
"If you get a call about the taxes that you owe without first receiving a notice in the mail you can probably guess that that's a scam," says Connelly. "If the caller demands you pay the taxes without giving you the opportunity to ask any questions or maybe file an appeal, that's also a tip."
All reports of scams go the Treasury Inspector General's office. For the last twelve-month reporting period, the office completed 3100 investigations.