Police caution residents against IRS phone scam


The Edgartown and Oak Bluffs police departments have posted warnings about scam phone calls targeting Island residents. The scammers call and pretend to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), demand money, and threaten to have residents arrested if they do not pay immediately via wire transfer, said a notice on the Oak Bluffs police department’s Facebook page.

Police said residents should hang up immediately and offer the callers no personal information. The scam, though recently reported on the Island, is not new.

“The IRS scam has been targeting various communities around the country for quite some time,” the Oak Bluffs police department said in its post.

The IRS posted a warning about the scam in October last year. The federal agency said that scammers will go as far as altering their caller identification numbers, report fake employee identification credentials, and utilize as much personal information about the resident as they can to make the call sound official. The IRS said that it will never call to demand payment, disallow an appeal about overdue taxes, or ask for credit card information over the phone. They asked people who think they are victims of an attempted scam to report the call on the Treasury Department’s scam-reporting website.