Area police are warning citizens about an automated telephone calling scam in which people are told they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the Viroqua Police Department, people receive an automated call that has a recording, which claims that money is owed to the IRS and the person called is receiving a final notice. A phone number is then given directing the person to call back.
Police are telling anyone who receives such a call that it is a scam attempting to get personal information from citizens.
“Over the last several months we’ve received one or two calls a week on scams like this, so it seems like it never stops,” Viroqua Assistant Police Chief Todd Simonson said. “But today (Tuesday, Nov. 10) we’ve had six calls on this scam in particular.”
The Hillsboro Police Department reported the next day, Nov. 11, on its Facebook page that the scam is also affecting city residents. In addition, police reported some residents have received calls telling them they owe money to Alliant Energy.
Simonson said many people realize it is a scam, hang up and never report it. He said the scam basically affects the entire United States and most recently was a plague in the Tomah and Holmen areas. WRJC Radio of Mauston reports that the Adams area has also been affected.
“It really depends on whatever string of phone numbers they happen to be calling,” Simonson said.
The IRS will not notify anyone by phone of an outstanding bill. The IRS typically notifies people of outstanding debts via mail.
Anyone receiving such a call should hang up and not give out any personal information over the phone.
–H.S. Leverenz contributed additional reporting to this story.