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Phony ‘IRS’ scammers target Palo Alto residents during tax season

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Phone scammers claiming to be Internal Revenue Service workers have called Palo Alto residents and demanded money transfers during tax season, police said Monday.

The scam is targeting people across the country and Palo Alto police have received multiple calls each day reporting the calls. An impersonator will typically tell the resident they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid immediately using a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.

Residents have been threatened with arrest if they don’t cooperate, and police said some have even received fake arrest warrants. The scammers have been known to alter their incoming phone number to mimic the IRS area code in Washington, D.C.

Anyone who believes they have been targeted by the scam is asked to report the call to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml. Residents can call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 to confirm whether they owe money to the agency.

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