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The S&T campus community is advised to beware of telephone and email scams. University Police has received reports of scammers targeting international students with claims that they have an unpaid debt to the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Revenue.
Often the scammer will spoof the true telephone number for the organization. The scammer will instruct the victim to purchase a gift card and reveal the card number to the scammer. The scammer then withdraws the funds from the gift cards. Many of these phone scams use threats of jail or bullying techniques to scare the victim into paying. Below are five things that the scammers often do but that he IRS would never do. According to irs.gov, any of these five actions are a tell-tale sign of a scam.
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card or gift card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
Contact the University Police or any local law enforcement agency if you suspect that you have received a scam call or a fraudulent email. The University Police is available 24/7 at 341-4300.