Portland police: Beware of scammers claiming to be law enforcement, demanding money

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Portland police are urging residents not to fall victim to a scam by callers who claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demand money over the phone.

Officers have received several reports that scammers posing as the IRS are calling Portland community members and saying they owe money for back taxes.

The scammers claim to be with the “Tax Fraud Department” and tells victims if they don’t pay the IRS, they will be arrested.

Police said another phone scam tells a victim he or she “will be taken under custody by the local cops as there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment. We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss this case before taking any legal action against you."

Whenever anyone is worried about the authenticity about a phone call seeking money, police urge community members to hang up and call the government agency directly.

Anyone who experiences an IRS scam call can fill out the "IRS Impersonation scam" form on the Treasury department’s website or call 1-800-366-4484.

Portland police released the following tips for resident to help avoid becoming a victim of the IRS phone scam:

The Portland Police Bureau or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants. This includes claims of unpaid federal or state taxes.

The Portland Police Bureau does not call individuals and demand money from community members under any circumstances. Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money. Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email. Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason. Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload. Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card. Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.Any resident of Portland who falls victim to scammers and experiences financial loss is encouraged to file a report by calling the Portland Police Bureau's non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.

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