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Phone scammers targeting Niles seniors with bogus IRS calls

(NILES) A phone scammer pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service is targeting seniors and demanding money, police in north suburban Niles are warning.

“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling,” Niles Police Sgt. Robert Tornabene said.

The callers often use common names and fake IRS bad numbers, and know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, Niles police said.

Scammers can also alter caller ID information to make it look like the IRS is really calling, and can even send bogus IRS emails to support their scam, police said. Sometimes, scammers call a second time claiming to be with the police or the department of motor vehicles.

Legitimate officials from the IRS usually contact people for the first time by mail, and not by phone. The IRS will never ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, and will never ask for a credit card number over the phone, police said.

Anyone who receives a scam phone call should hang up immediately and report it to police.