Police warn of IRS scam utilizing fake caller ID displays

Scammers using 'IRS' caller ID to demand payments

CANTON, Mich. – The Canton Police Department has recently received several reports from citizens who say they've gotten calls from someone representing themselves as an IRS agent.

The "agent" demands personal information and/or payments for taxes owed via unusual methods, such as pre-paid debit cards or wire transfers. The caller ID displays "IRS, Washington D.C." If the citizen declines to participate in the conversation, the "agent" will begin to threaten him or her with police involvement.

On a few occasions, after the citizen ended the phone call, a second call came in with "Canton Police Department" displayed on the caller ID.

Federal and local law enforcement officials are warning citizens about this fast-moving scam, which targets taxpayers across the county. Victims are reporting threats of license suspension, arrest and deportation if they don't cooperate with the caller.

"Criminals are altering caller ID displays to read out as IRS, or Canton Police Department, bringing a believability factor to what citizens might otherwise recognize immediately as a scam phone call," said Special Services Lt. Craig Wilsher. "The most important thing to remember if you receive a phone call from someone representing themselves as IRS or local law enforcement is that neither would ask for your personal information over the phone. Nor would they request a tax payment (or any payment) in the form of a wire transfer or pre-paid debit card."

If you receive one of these phone calls, law enforcement officials recommend contacting your local police department or the IRS directly. The IRS can be reached at 800-829-1040; the Canton Police Department at 734-394-5400.