SCAM ALERT: Be advised of a phone scam that preys on a person's fear of the IRS. We are aware of a person who was called by someone purporting to be from the IRS who told him to stay at home, not to go anywhere, and that someone from the local sheriff's county department was coming to arrest him either for non-filing or nonpayment of taxes. (This person filed their taxes on time, every year.)

This type of call is a scam. The IRS will never send local law enforcement officers to arrest someone for nonpayment of taxes or to collect payment. They will always send a letter first if there is a problem to give the person a chance to respond and resolve any issues. Moreover, collection action can only take place after administrative and/or judicial procedures that require personal notice and allow adequate time to present evidence and defenses.

The sheriff's department (in the case above) reported that they get these calls all the time and that it is rare that anybody actually shows up at the door following the call asking for money. However, the first call could be followed by someone pretending to be from the sheriff's office and asking for payment to avoid arrest. If someone were to show up in person, then the best response is to either call 911 immediately, without answering the door, or to write down the name and badge number of the person without allowing them into the house, to close and lock the door, and then to call 911.

Anyone, but especially the elderly, can be fooled by these calls and demands as many of them are fearful of the IRS. Advise your family members that any contact by phone, text or email, purporting to be the IRS and demanding payment on threat of arrest is a scam.