February , 2019

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CHICAGO, IL – From coast to coast and all points in between, including Chicago and Northern Illinois, 2014 is shaping up as the year of the IRS tax scam. Since early March, thousands of calls have been made to individuals with total losses of well over a million dollars.

Callers to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) say they have received calls or have been left voicemail messages stating that they need to contact the IRS immediately or they will face legal consequences. Other messages threatened arrest by U.S. Marshals for failure to pay the correct amount of taxes.

Chicago resident, Loyal Griffin says, “They called me and said that I owed $7,000 and I don’t. The guy said that if I didn’t pay someone would come and arrest me and my wife. I explained that I am on social security and don’t pay taxes. They hung up. But, they also called and left a message on our voice mail.”

Anna Radecki of Burbank said, “The guy that called sounded official and told me that the call was being recorded and not to talk or ask questions until he was finished talking. He said that I had not filed taxes correctly and owed over $1900.00. Then he told me that he had a warrant in his hand and would send the sheriff over to arrest me if I did not pay immediately. I knew that I hadn’t done anything wrong so I told him that he could send the sheriff over.”

Many of the calls come from “spoofed” numbers using the 202 area code which services the Washington D.C. area. In some cases, those “spoofed” numbers include the actual phone number for the IRS.

“Unfortunately, this scam is going strong,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “And the best explanation for that is it works, as the millions victims have paid to these scam artists indicates.”

Additionally, Bernas noted “According to the IRS, the agency never contacts taxpayers by phone asking for money. They also never contact taxpayers by email. If there is an issue with the IRS that requires your response, the contact would be made by U.S. mail.”

If you receive one of these scam phone calls, the BBB recommends:

  • Hang up – Don’t provide any information over the phone. Call the IRS directly using the phone number found on their website or in the phone book.
  • Protect personal information – In response to an incoming call, never give out any personal or financial information such as your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name or any passwords and other identifying information.
  • Contact the FCC – Let the Federal Communications Commission know about ID spoofers by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC or file a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints
  • Contact the FTC – File a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”. In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam”.

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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