Scammers are targeting Harlan Countians

Staff Report

It is that time of year again — tax time. Just like clockwork, individuals are receiving their W-2 forms, 1099s and other tax related material in preparation for filing their annual taxes.

Authorities are warning the public about a scam which recently made its way back into the area.

According to a press release from the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Bell County residents along with many neighboring counties across the area have begun once again receiving telephone calls from individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The release states the callers tell the intended victim that they owe taxes to the agency before going on to say if arrangements to pay the taxes owed to the IRS are not made, then the individual will be arrested.

The press release clarifies what has become a common misconception in the general public — the IRS does not contact taxpayers via telephone calls. According to authorities, if an individual does in fact owe taxes, that person will be contacted through a delinquency letter. Authorities say the delinquency letter will state the exact amount of money owed for the taxes as well as directions as to exactly how the individual can resolve the issue in the quickest, most efficient way possible.

The release stresses payments should never be given over the telephone to anyone claiming to collect taxes. Additionally, the release advises the public to be very cautious when providing any type of banking information or Social Security numbers over the telephone. Authorities say in these types of cases, it is crucial to know the people you are talking to and somehow get verification that the person requesting money or payments are in fact who they claim to be and not as in many cases similar to this current scam, scammers.

If you feel you have been scammed by anyone claiming to be from the IRS, contact your local authorities and the U.S. treasury inspector at 800-366-4484.

The Kentucky State Police has also received complaints about another scam going around.

Citizens are also receiving calls from someone stating that a family member has been arrested and they need to send money to get them out of jail.

If anyone receives any suspicious calls, contact the Kentucky State Police or your local law enforcement agency.

Staff Report

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