Be Aware of IRS Call Scam

Internet and telephone frauds and scams are an unfortunate reality in today’s day and age. One such example occurred in Highland recently, as a resident received a phone call, purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service. Typically in these incidents, the recipient is told by the caller that they owe taxes, and must pay them immediately via wire transfer or a prepaid debit card, or face consequences such as jail time, loss of driver’s license, or deportation. The calls can seem frighteningly real, with caller ID showing it is the IRS calling, and even knowledge of the recipients Social Security number.

Listeners should be aware that according to the Federal Trade Commission’s website information about this particular scam,the IRS will never make first contact with a taxpayer via phone call or email – this will always be initially done by postal mail. Also, the IRS will never require a specific type of payment method, such as money transfer or debit card. The FTC warns against ever giving out personal information, and to write down and report the details of the call. The IRS can be reached directly at or by calling 800-829-1040. To file a complaint, the FTC can be contacted at or call 877-383-4357. For a link to the FTC’s webpage about this scam, see this story on our website at

Incidents and complaints can also be filed at the local law enforcement level. Highland County Sheriff Tim Duff urged any residents with questions or concerns to contact his department. He reported that his office has logged 36 various scam and fraud incidents since January. These tend to rise during the summer months, and often target senior citizens. The Department has informational packages on scams, frauds and identity theft which can be picked up at the Sheriff’s office and other locations such as churches, banks and the post office. The Sheriff also offered to give presentations on the problem to local civic organizations and groups upon request.

For Allegheny Mountain Radio, this is Scott Smith.

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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