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FBI Warns of Surge in Scam Calls in Montana

Keep your hard-earned money. The FBI is warning Montanans to beware of calls from people falsely claiming to be from the IRS or FBI and demanding tax payments. (codhra/morguefile)
Keep your hard-earned money. The FBI is warning Montanans to beware of calls from people falsely claiming to be from the IRS or FBI and demanding tax payments. (codhra/morguefile)
July 6, 2016

HELENA, Mont. — Dozens of people, mainly in communities along northern Montana's Hi-Line, have received scam calls, and the FBI has issued a warning about them.

The caller impersonates an agent from the Internal Revenue Service or FBI and demands payment for back taxes. Sandra Yi Barker, a spokesperson in the FBI's Salt Lake City office, said multiple FBI offices have been flooded with similar complaints over the past few weeks and the scammers have taken extra steps to come across as legitimate.

"In a twist," she said, "the originating number used by the fraudsters, they spoof the caller ID so that it appears that the number is coming from a couple of our local FBI offices."

Anyone receiving a similar call, she said, is urged to report it online to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, known as IC3, at IC3.gov.

Barker said there are several different versions of the scam, and so far no one has reported actually falling for it.

"So, we just wanted to get the word out, let people know that the FBI will never call private citizens to solicit money and that we want people to report this," she said.

Barker suggested that people who think they've been a victim of an IRS impersonation scam contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or the Federal Trade Commission. Local Better Business Bureau offices also track these types of complaints.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT