Police Issue Warning After Belmont Woman Falls Victim to Tax Payment Scam

Belmont police are reminding residents to be careful not to fall for tricks involving fake payments to the IRS.

The warning comes after a local woman contacted the police department on Tuesday, telling them she thought she may have just been scammed.

"The victim told officers that she had received a telephone call several hours earlier, from a male who identified himself as calling from the IRS," Belmont Police Captain Patrick Halleran said.   "The suspect told the woman that she owed $3,000 and only had a limited time to pay or should would be arrested."

According to Halleran, the man then told the woman she could get her debt paid off quickly by going to the store and getting $3,000 worth of gift cards.  She did, and reported the numbers back to the man.

Officers tried to stop the transactions, but were too late.

“Gift cards are essentially cash and difficult to trace,” said Halleran. 

The captain said this isn't a new scam they've seen, but since tax season is upon us, it's coming around again.

“If somebody unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens arrest, or other action like deportation or license revocation if you don't pay immediately, that is an indication that the caller really isn't from the IRS," he said.  "IRS agents do not ask taxpayers for confidential PIN numbers, passwords or access information to credit card, bank or other financial accounts." 

Anyone who owes taxes or has a payment issue should call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040. If you feel you have been the victim of this or any other scam, contact your local police. 

steve March 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM
I somehow cannot conceive that anyone would follow through on such a substantially cumbersome payment method considering that most public debt is handled through cash, checks or money orders. The fact that it is not a new scam is even more incredible.
Bob Winters March 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM
I don't recall the last time I was asked to pay my overdue tax bill with Bed, Bath & Beyond cards, but it sounds legit.
Phillip Bailey March 18, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Too gullible sorry. The victim needs to share some of the reason why this actually worked...


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