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5:03 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Hear recording of fake IRS phone scam targeting local residents

Quad-city residents are receiving scam phone calls featuring a message claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The recorded message says an arrest warrant has been issued on their name due to tax fraud.

If an unsuspecting resident calls back on the provided phone number they are told the IRS will have them arrested if they don’t send money immediately to satisfy their tax bill. The fake IRS agent will often demand that the money be sent in the form of gift cards.

Over the past two months dozens of residents reported receiving similar scam calls, according to the Prescott and Prescott Valley police departments.

"Our community needs to know they should not speak to the person, nor respond by providing personal information, bank information, or purchase gift cards as payment," said Prescott PD Deputy Chief Amy Bonney.

Prescott Valley PD put out a similar warning last month.

One version of the recorded message says:

"Hello, this call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filling [sic] a lawsuit on your name because you have tried to do a fraud with the IRS Internal Revenue Service and we are taking illegal [sic] action and we are issuing an arrest warrant on your name. To get more information regarding this case file, just call us back on our department number, 773-XXX-XXX....Thank you."

"The IRS never makes this kind of phone call," said PV Police spokesperson Jerry Ferguson, and they never leave messages that make that kind of threat, either.

Ferguson suggested that people who receive a fraudulent call from a fake IRS agent notify the police by filing an online crime report at the city’s website, pvaz.net.

Residents can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint, or by calling the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

"Never give any personal information over the telephone to unknown people," Ferguson said. "You may not be able to prevent scam calls, but you can prevent becoming a victim to them."