IRS Scam Hits West Texas Right Before Tax Season - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

IRS Scam Hits West Texas Right Before Tax Season

By Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Soon, Americans will be filing their taxes to keep the IRS off their backs. However, a scam is going around causing a scare right before tax season.

"The timing of this would certainly make a taxpayer feel anxious getting a call from the IRS saying they owe money. That's why it's important to get the word out that this is not legitimate and don't take the bait," Lee Crusberg with IRS Media Relations, said.

The IRS warns that the scammers scare people to pay up with a prepaid debit card or they could be arrested or even be deported if they are immigrants. Despite that, anyone could be a victim.

"I think they target anyone who will take the bait. If they just get one person that is intimidated enough or threatened enough that sent a prepaid debit card then they made their pay day for that day," Crusberg said

Todd Houck is a history professor at Midland College who was scammed by this group. They told him that a lien was being placed on his assets unless he called a number to settle his debt with the IRS.

"I explained to them that I thought it was a little odd and it was a scam and they immediately hung up on me," Midland College Professor, Todd Houck said.

Thankfully, Houck knew what was happening and wanted to warn other West Texans.

"It concerns me for some of the people who may not have the resources to look up on the Internet that there is such a scam," Houck said.

NewsWest 9 got the scammer's number from Houck. Sure enough someone answered but hung up when asked questions.

"Nope, we don't have this number in our system sir," the scammers said.

The IRS tells NewsWest 9 that you will never get a call if you owe money.

"We are not going to call you on the phone demanding money. If you hear from the IRS about owing taxes, you will hear from us the old fashion way, which is by mail," Crusberg said. If you get a call by scammers, the IRS asks that you write down the name of the person you speak with, the number and the time they call. You should then log onto www.tigta.gov to report it.
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