Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports his office is once again receiving calls from concerned citizens about individuals claiming to be representatives of the IRS attempting to settle or collect fictitious back income tax bills.
The sheriff's office regularly receives reports about these fake solicitation calls and the office reminds people that no government agency will contact individuals via the telephone and demand an immediate payment for back taxes, criminal warrants or other government agency actions.
Detectives report it is extremely difficult to trace the source of the calls or to recover the funds once a payment is made, therefore the sheriff's office strongly urges people not to send any funds via independent, electronic fund transfer service or give out personal and financial account information. This only creates the opportunity for further fraudulent transactions.
The sheriff's office urges people to remain cautious when talking on the phone and to ignore any request for payment or release of personal and financial information. If a citizen is concerned about the possibility of an unpaid bill or legal action, it is recommended he or she request a written correspondence about the pending action that details the amount in arrears, ask for the caller's name and identification number and finally contact the agency the caller claims to be associated with to verify the caller's identity and any collection proceedings.