Phone scammers target Islanders at tax time

Chilmark Police Chief Brian Cioffi said he recently had reports from town residents that they received telephone calls from individuals who purported to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but were likely part of a scam operation. Chief Cioffi cautioned Islanders to be cautious and not provide any tax or personal information over the phone.

The IRS said it will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the telephone.

The IRS said immigrants are frequently targeted. “Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked,” according to a press release.

The IRS said it does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information: “This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov. More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.”