A scam targeting taxpayers has surfaced in Watertown, according to police.
The police department issued a warning on Wednesday that a caller had impersonated both a member of the Internal Revenue Service and the scam victim.
Police said Monday, the caller first claimed the taxpayer owed an exorbitant amount of money and that they would be arrested unless a settlement was reached.
The victim was then advised that the caller would take an amount that had to be paid on the day of the call.
Police said they were then contacted by the suspect perpetuating the scam. They said the suspect posed as the victim and said armed intruders were in the home. The suspect even manipulated the caller ID to make it show as the scam victim's number.
The call prompted police to respond to the home as if it were an active home invasion situation.
"We take home invasions very seriously and we all went over there lights and sirens and expecting to find two assailants with knives and when we got there, obviously there were none," said Watertown police Detective Kevin Ferrucci.
Investigators tried tracking the number, but so far haven't had much luck. Police said it leads to some type of internet phone.
"It puts all our resources in one area," Ferrucci said. "It puts everybody in danger; the police officers, the public, the victim, everybody."
As it turns out, the home was the target of a real home invasion in the past, although police said they don't believe this incident is connected.
Police said the IRS was aware of the scam.
"Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer," said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel on the IRS' website.
The IRS said that if people know they owe taxes or think they might owe taxes, they can always call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Employees at that line can help with a payment issue, if there is an issue.
If people know they do not owe taxes, they can call and report any incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
Scam victims or anyone contacted by scam artists should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use its FTC Complaint Assistant option at FTC.gov. Users should add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of the complaint.
More information on this scam and others can be found here.
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