FRAUD ALERT: U.S. Treasury Tax Scams

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) - June 10, 2016 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning residents to be wary of fraudulent telephone calls from people posing as U.S. Treasury agents claiming that they are taking an enforcement action against them. Although tax season has passed, scammers are now demanding fraudulent tax payments, since checks and money orders are often made payable to the U.S. Treasury.  In the current scheme, the scammers claim that there is an issue with your payment and they need to correct the action so that a federal claim is not filed against the person. These imposters claiming to be federal law enforcement agents sound very official, even giving fake badge numbers, and the scam seems very real.  Recently, there have been numerous concerned Yolo County citizens who have contacted the District Attorney’s Fraud Unit to report being contacted by these scammers.

The official sounding “U.S. Treasury Claim” is designed to frighten people into responding quickly when they are upset and not thinking clearly. In a recent phone call with a Yolo County resident, the scammer stated:

“The purpose of this call is regarding an enforcement action which has been executed by the U.S. Treasury Department regarding tax fraud and tax payment against your name. Ignoring this will be an intentional attempt to avoid initial appearance before a judge. This is a federal criminal offense. So before this matter goes to the federal claims courthouse we would like to clear this up immediately.”

As with most scams, the con artists are either trying to scare the victim into “wiring” money or going out to purchase reloadable prepaid cards. Scammers are also trying to get a hold of personal information like a Social Security or Credit Card number. The IRS will always send citizens a written notification of any violations they might have regarding their jury summons via US mail. The IRS enforcement does not contact those who owe taxes over the phone and they never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

If you suspect a call like this is a scam:  1) Never provide any personal information and never “wire” money or purchase prepaid cards;   2) Verify the identity of the caller by requesting an employee identification number. Also, never hesitate to ask a trusted friend or advisor for help before responding to any such suspicious calls.

According to DA Reisig, “The complexity and frequency of these types of scams has been increasing dramatically over the last several months. Nobody is immune from being targeted by these persistent crooks. The best defense against becoming a victim of such a scam is knowledge and vigilance.”

For more information on the U.S. Treasury fraud alert you can visit their website at http://1.usa.gov/1TZNrOK. You can also visit the IRS online at http://1.usa.gov/1TKqAtL regarding current tax scams. Please contact the Yolo County District Attorney for more information on scams or to report suspected scams at please call 855-4-YOLO-DA or visit www.yoloda.org.

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