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Police issue warning about phony ‘IRS’ phone calls

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police are warning residents to be vigilant against a phone scam being perpetrated by callers falsely claiming to be Internal Revenue Service representatives looking to obtain personal tax information.
The faux IRS callers, according to Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley, call people randomly and tell them they owe money and they will be sued or arrested if they do not comply.
“Don’t accept calls from numbers you don’t recognize and those who list no identifying information on the caller ID,” Hanley said. “In most cases, the robo-dialer will hang up if the call goes to a message system. With the plethora of other scams out there, this is good practice in all cases. An indication of a ‘robo’ dialer is when there is a slight pause after you answer the phone while the system lets an operator know the call has been answered. Do not identify yourself nor divulge any personal information.”
Hanley said at least one Middlebury resident has been targeted by the scam calls, which at least in some cases have originated from a 720-249-9928 telephone number, which is an AT&T number out of Denver, Colo. Denver police have said they have received many complaints and so far have been unable to trace the phones, as the culprits are using disposable devices, Hanley said.
The Federal Trade Commission has been notified and the reference number is 71834004, Hanley said. Anyone receiving a scam call should call the FTC, toll-free, at 1-877-382-4357 with information.
The Vermont Attorney General’s Office periodically warns Vermonters of similar scams, and has urged consumers to hang up if they receive this kind of call.
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone, email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information or to discuss your personal tax issue. 

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