The Eugene Police Department has received reports of scam calls, primarily targeting college-age and elderly people.
These scammers are impersonating the Internal Revenue Service, threatening victims with thousands of dollars in fines and demanding they pay them immediately.
“We have the same scams that happen all the time. But what happens is there’s a unique twist to the scams,” says Margaret Mazzotta with EPD. She says scammers are using a spoof number — meaning it’s a number that’s not actually theirs. “Sometimes it’s a 911. So people think there’s an authenticity to it that isn’t there.”
Mazzotta says even if you’re not up-to-date on current scams, there are certain things to tip you off on its legitimacy.
“The big clue is they’re often asked to pay with gift cards or some unusual way, like with a money order… things that a government agency usually wouldn’t request," says Mazzotta.
The IRS warns taxpayers each year that first contact from government agencies, particularly those from the revenue service, would never come in the form of a phone call.
Mazzotta says most government agencies will contact you by mail.
Follow Kira Hoffelmeyer on Twitter @kirahoffy