Hamilton County sheriff warns residents of telephone scam


Hamilton County Sheriff Mark Bowen is asking residents to be aware of a possible scam.

The victim told investigators that he was called by different people claiming to work for the IRS over the course of two days. 

The man was told he had filed his taxes incorrectly for the last ten years and if he did not pay a penalty, a warrant would be issued for his arrest. He was asked to go to a grocery store and get a "tax voucher" to send money to the IRS for the penalty. If he did not comply a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

A different suspect later called the man and said he was an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and he would be issuing an arrest warrant for the victim if he did not comply.

The man then called the sheriff's office and found out there was no employee with that name and no warrants were being issued.

The sheriff's office says it does not issue warrants for tax issues with the IRS and will not call and threaten to arrest a citizen for tax issues. Any person that calls asking for money to be sent by wire transfer or some type of pre-paid visa card for any reason is more than likely a scam.

The IRS has been contacted regarding this matter and confirmed that the IRS will always attempt to contact a taxpayer by mail first. It is very unlikely that a taxpayer will not know they have an outstanding balance prior to receiving a call. If a taxpayer receives a phone call from someone claiming to be calling from the IRS they should know the IRS will never ask for payment to be made by a specific method or specific brand of credit card.

IRS agents are strictly prohibited from being vulgar or abusive to taxpayers, any such behavior should be reported immediately to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. If an individual is contacted by the IRS, they can always ask for the IRS agent's ID number or ask to speak with a supervisor.

If there is any question about a taxpayer's federal tax situation or if a taxpayer wishes to check if they have an outstanding federal tax debt they can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.