Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt warns consumers to be aware of a new scam making rounds where callers pose as representatives of the “state” attorney general or U.S. Department of Treasury. Similar to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fraudulent calls, scammers threaten arrest or suit in an attempt to collect personal information and money from their victims.
“This new phone scam seeks to collect personal, identifying information as well as money from its victims,” said Laxalt. “My office will never contact Nevadans asking for money, and I encourage consumers to take the necessary steps to verify a caller’s authenticity before answering any sensitive questions.”
These calls are sophisticated, and scammers often have detailed information about their victims. Callers initiate the conversation by notifying the receiver he or she was instructed by the attorney general to discuss an important legal matter. The caller then verifies the receiver’s first and last name, as well as their home or mobile phone number. Callers may also pose as officers working for the U.S. Department of Treasury. The scammer then informs the victim due to multiple notices from the IRS, a warrant is being prepared for his or her arrest, and the arrest is going to be conducted within an hour at the victim’s verified home address. During the conversation, the fraudulent caller may attempt to gather more personal information by asking for information on the victim’s lawyer, and requiring the caller to make a payment in order to avoid arrest.
Callers may also leave voicemail messages for their victims, urging them to call immediately because the attorney general has an important legal matter to discuss with them.
The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for recognizing these fraudulent calls:
The Nevada Attorney General’s Office will never ask for or require consumers to make payments by phone.
If you’re contacted by a member of the Attorney General’s Office by phone, you may confirm the call’s authenticity by hanging up and calling the Office directly at 775-684-1100 or 702-486-3420.
Scammers may know your name, phone number, address and last four digits of your social security number. This information doesn’t guarantee a caller’s authenticity.
The IRS will not contact you by phone and will not ask for payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Scammers typically prefer these forms of payments because they can’t be tracked.
If you suspect you have been contacted by a fraudulent IRS scam or one of its variants, it’s important to take the following steps to protect your information and report the incident:
If you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS employees can assist you with legitimate payment issues.
If believe you don’t owe the IRS or have not been sent a bill, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
If you believe you have fallen victim to this scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
Another phone scam is coming from a 775 area code with an Incline Village prefix. In that scam, the person is raising money on behalf of the association of firefighters. The Carson City Fire Department has no fundraisers going on and the Professional Firefighters of Nevada doesn’t solicit donations over the phone.