IRS scam affecting Chilton County

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chilton County residents are being affected by a phone scam from fake IRS callers.

Clanton accountant David McKinney said his office has received numerous phone calls from residents living in Chilton County within the last couple of weeks claiming they have received calls from the IRS.

“The callers have been telling people there were issues with their taxes, and they are going to issue warrants to arrest these individuals,” McKinney said. “They will typically leave a number for the people to call them back, and they seem to be telling most of the people who have called me that they are going to issue a warrant for their arrest if they don’t receive money by a certain time.”

Hershel Smith received one of the calls at his home in Clanton, from an individual claiming they worked for the IRS.

“They called and said there was an error on my tax forms, and if I didn’t clear it up immediately, they were going to sue me,” Smith said. “What they wanted me to do was give them my credit card number to clear it up. I knew immediately it was a scam, but he or she left a number for me to call them back.”

McKinney said individuals have been calling him regularly at his office to report the calls, and to see if there are any issues with their taxes.

“I have been telling everyone who has called me that the IRS is not going to call you on the telephone to tell you there is an issue with your taxes,” McKinney said. “They would contact you first by certified mail. They can also not issue a warrant for your arrest if you don’t pay taxes.”

McKinney said he has called several of the telephone numbers individuals in Chilton County have reported to him.

“When I call the numbers, the people will answer by saying Internal Revenue Service,” McKinney said. “I asked one of them to tell me their badge number and the man gave it to me, but it didn’t have enough numbers. He also had a very thick accent.”

McKinney said some people have reported receiving the calls on Saturdays, which is also a clue that it is a scam.

“The IRS is not going to call you on a Saturday,” McKinney said.

McKinney said he has been encouraging individuals to file a report with their local police department if they believe they have received one of the calls, but hopes individuals will be aware of the scam circulating.

“A lot of people hear they have an issue with their income taxes, and they get worried,” McKinney said. “Unfortunately, we seem to be getting a slew of calls that people in Chilton County are getting these calls. We just hope they are aware that these are scam calls.”