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Iowa Attorney General
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December 18, 2014

Iowans Report Government Imposter Scams

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Dozens of Iowans daily are reporting government imposter scams to the Consumer Protection Division and local law enforcement throughout the state.

“Iowans report that callers claiming they’re with the IRS or local authorities warn the recipient of the call to act immediately to clear up some sort of supposed fee, taxes or debt,” Attorney General Tom Miller said.  “Scammers are using intimidation and threats to try to extract money.”

The imposter callers purport to represent a federal, state or local governmental agency and often “spoof” their numbers on caller-ID displays, meaning a display may mask the true number and falsely display an actual or claimed government number.  Callers demand immediate payment and tell recipients to use a credit card, debit card or pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.  Callers threaten recipients with court actions or even arrest if they don’t pay immediately.

“The IRS doesn’t make calls like this, and nor do state and local governmental agencies,” Miller said.  “If you get such a call, hang up.  If you want to take an extra step to ensure you really don’t owe that governmental agency money, call them directly to verify.”

How to Report Scam

  • Victims who lost money through an IRS scam or any government impersonation scam should report the loss to law enforcement.

  • Iowans who were not scammed but who wish to report any government imposter scam contact can report it to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through the FTC Complaint Assistant at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

  • Iowans who want to verify whether they owe federal taxes or penalties should contact the IRS directly.  The IRS telephone assistance number is 1-800-829-1040.

  • Iowans who were not scammed but who wish to report being contacted by an IRS impersonator can report it to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA):

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