Beware of Tax Scam

Sheriff’s Alert: Beware of Tax Scam by Phone or E-mail

LaSalle Sheriff Scott Franklin urged residents to be vigilant against an income tax scam that is making the rounds in the parish, now that tax season is here.Scammers use both phone calls and e-mails to try to trick people into sending them money.

The scam often begins with a telephone call from someone, claiming to be an Internal Revenue Service agent, telling the resident that he or she owes money to the IRS.The caller tells the resident that if the money isn’t paid within an hour (or short period of time), LaSalle Parish sheriff’s deputies will come to arrest the resident.Residents are told to send the money via Western Union or some other similar form of payment. Callers may also instruct residents to send in the payment via a pre-paid debit card.

“The calls may be placed from telephone number (888) 283-7948. The telephone number is fake,” Franklin said.The IRS acknowledges this scam is being committed nationwide, by phone and e-mail.Franklin said anyone receiving such a call should hang up. He said the IRS contacts taxpayers by mail first and would never demand immediate payment by phone.Such scam calls should be reported to the Treasury Inspector for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at (800) 366-4484.

The sheriff also reminds residents that they should never provide personal identifying information, such as name, date of birth, Social Security number or PIN number to someone they do not know.