Attorney General warns about ‘IRS’ Christmas scams

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is warning to keep watch for a phone scam making its way across the state.

The Attorney General’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens who received phone calls from someone claiming to be a representative of the IRS.

The callers use various scare tactics to deceive individuals into providing personal information, or threatening arrest. The scam targets the most vulnerable Oklahomans who may not readily be aware of the IRS’s procedures. “Unfortunately, these scams don’t seem to be slowing down any, instead they are becoming more and more rampant. In fact, I’ve heard from a number of our staff who have received these calls or know someone who has,” Pruitt said. “It is vital for Oklahomans to understand the importance of protecting their personal information from the crooks taking part in these scams. One thing to remember is that the IRS will never contact you by phone first, but will send you correspondence in writing.”

Here are some tips to protect you from these types of scams:

  • The IRS will never contact you first by telephone, but through official correspondence sent via mail.
  • You will never be required to use a specific payment method.
  • Never give your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS never requests immediate payment over the phone.
  • You will not be threatened with being arrested by local law enforcement for not paying.
  • If you receive a voicemail claiming to be the IRS, do not return the call using the number provided, instead use an official contact number listed on the IRS website.

Report the incident to local law enforcement and to the AG’s Office immediately. For more tips from the IRS you can visit their website at www.irs.gov. Call the  Consumer Protection Unit at 405-521-2029, 918-581-2885, by e-mail at public.protection@oag.ok.gov or file a complaint online at www.ok.gov/oag.