It’s not the IRS on the telephone as scammers ramp it up
BY KEN KRALL, WXPR NEWS
There has been a wave of scam calls hitting the Northwoods and elsewhere within the past few weeks.
Late last month, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department said they had received many calls from the public who had been contacted by persons saying they represented the IRS or Wisconsin Public Service and said the person owed money and to pay up or face a penalty.
Michelle Reinen leads the state Division of Consumer Protection. She said the callers can be convincing.
“The fake IRS is calling consumers demanding immediate payment for unpaid taxes,” Reinen said. “They were demanding payment within 24 hours. We continue to see these calls at a heightened level, more than four times the number of calls in one day than we see in an entire month. They continue to demand consumers pay right away and threaten them with arrest or deportation.”
She said another scam involves an unsolicited call from a person saying there’s a problem with your computer.
“Consumers get a phone call that their computer is giving off a virus that has been detected,” Reinen explained. “You can get that taken care of by wiring some money right there, paying by credit card, and giving access to the computer so they can correct any problems.”
Officials always say never give personal information to anyone you don’t know over the telephone. The IRS and utilities don’t make contact with the public this way for payments. Contact the Division of Consumer Protection if you have a complaint.