As income tax season begins, the state is warning residents about an increase in scammers claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service. And some top officials have seen firsthand how the scam works.
"As a matter of fact, the Attorney General himself received a message on his home phone, threatening him with arrest if he did not pay money," says Senior Attorney General Jim Boffetti. (It's fair to say Attorney General Joe Foster did not fall for the scam.)
The AG's office says the scammers claim to represent the IRS and demand residents' financial information to pay back supposed back taxes. Boffetti says he's gotten numerous complaints about the calls, and expects they will continue through the federal tax filing deadline in April.
The state says the IRS typically makes contact with taxpayers through the mail, and that residents should never give out personal financial information over the phone, especially during an unsolicited call.