Pa Department Aging warns of IRS imposter phone scams targeting elderly

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HARRISBURG, PA (WPMT) — With the April 15 Federal Tax Return deadline approaching, the Department of Aging is warning of scams that have been targeting taxpayers, including scams that specifically target the elderly.

The Internal Revenue Service has been on alert for scams that target the elderly and have issued warnings to seniors. Many seniors are not required to submit tax information because they earn little income. Yet, con artists take advantage of the situation. According to the IRS, some callers tell their elderly victims that they are going to receive a big refund. The call may threaten driver’s license revocation or even arrest for tax evasion. In some instances, the caller’s goal is to get use of credit card and other ID information, and in some instances follow-up calls are made from so called “associates” who say they are from law enforcement or the state driver’s license bureau.

Be informed, the IRS will not:
• Call you to demand immediate payment of taxes owed without first sending you a prior official written notice;
• Ask you for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
• Pressure you by threatening to involve local police or other law enforcement to arrest you for nonpayment.

“Governor Wolf and the Department of Aging are committed to protecting seniors against fraud,” said Acting Secretary of Aging, Teresa Osborne. “If you suspect that you or someone you know is the target or victim of a scam, you should not hesitate to talk about it with someone you trust. Giving the callers the information they demand can be catastrophic, which is why we urge you to reach out immediately.”

Incidents can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484; the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Unit at 1-866-623-213; or the Pennsylvania Elder Abuse hotline at 1-866-490-2137.