Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
North Reading Police Remind Residents to be Cautious with Private Information During Tax Season
NORTH READING – After multiple reports of IRS scams and tax fraud last year, Chief Michael Murphy and the North Reading Police Department are urging the community to be vigilant with private, financial information during tax season and to refrain from sending money to unknown individuals.
These scams generally originate from someone the person does not know, who asks for payment in ways that are nearly untraceable. Other reports of tax fraud consist of residents having fraudulent information on their tax returns, or fraudulent tax returns filed under their social security numbers.
North Reading Police advise residents to complete and submit their taxes as soon as possible to give potential scammers less time and opportunity to submit a refund using their information.
In other instances, scammers have been known to call residents claiming to be from the IRS or another government body. The “agent” informs victims that they did not pay, or incorrectly filed their taxes and now owe money to the IRS, which must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
“Do not let yourself be intimidated by these scammers, regardless of how convincing they may seem over the phone,” Chief Murphy said. “At the same time, submit your taxes early to avoid identify theft and never give out any personal information to callers who claim to be government officials.”
Do not share social security numbers, dates of birth, or any other private or financial information to someone whose identity is in question. The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail and will never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.
If there is any doubt, call the IRS official hotline at 800-829-1040 or 800-829-4059 (TDD for the hearing impaired).
Any residents who are concerned about their identity or personal security should call the North Reading Police Department at 978-664-3131.