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Phone scam targets immigrants

By Staff Writer
Published On: Nov 01 2013 07:20:07 PM CDT
BOISE, Idaho -

A new phone scam targeting people across the country, including eastern Idaho.

“We've taken calls from Ontario (Ore.) to Teton Valley with this one in just the past three weeks,” said Robb Hicken of BBB Serving the Snake River Region in an email.

The IRS is warning that imposter IRS agents have been calling people demanding payment for taxes they don't owe. Victims are told they must pay up by loading money onto a prepaid card or sending a wire transfer.

Immigrants are often targets. If questioned, the scammers threaten to arrest them, deport them or suspend their business or driver's license.

A woman in St. Louis, Mo., fell for the scam, sending nearly $11,000 to the thieves, who threatened to deport her family.

“I was very scared; he was controlling everything,” she said in a BBB news release.

The IRS said one of the reasons people fall for it is because scammers are able to make the caller ID seem as if the call is coming from an IRS number.

The scammers may also know victims' Social Security numbers.

The IRS said they don't make calls like this. Be aware, and don't fall for it.

For more information on what to do if you get this call, go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.

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