New Berlin PD gets high volume of fake IRS call reports, scam on the rise in Wisconsin
NEW BERLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) – The New Berlin Police Department received dozens of calls reporting fake IRS scams Thursday. They’re not the only city dealing with an increase in these scams, as the fake IRS calls are on the rise in Wisconsin.
The IRS scam is nothing new, but here in Wisconsin they’re seeing the number of calls dramatically increasing. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says they’ve seen more reports of fake IRS calls in the last two days, than they would normally see in an entire month.
“Clearly these IRS scammers are out in full force right now and we want people to be on the lookout for these calls,” Senior Communications Specialist with DATCP Jerad Albracht said.
In New Berlin, they received an unusual number of calls Thursday, there were about 30 reports of fake IRS calls from residents and even after CBS 58 left for the interview, more calls were coming in.
“I was like huh, two IRS schemes right back-to-back, that’s unusual,” Officer Evan Spitza said. “Then all of a sudden, our dispatcher told me I had 8 of them pending, and they just kept piling on and on.”
New Berlin residents told Officer Spitza the scammers were pretending to be the IRS and were making threats.
“[Scammers] saying that these residents needed to call back within 24 hours or the local police authorities would put them into custody,” Officer Spitza said.
Officer Spitza warns people to hang up if they get the call and don’t give out any information. The New Berlin PD isn't the only police department, several local departments have reported an increase in the fake IRS phone scam.
Warning signs to look out for:
- Requests for personal information like your social security number, credit card or Medicare ID
- Asking for payment via wiring money or pre-paid cards
- Threats or urgency, like if a scammer is saying you’ll be arrested or asking you to take action right away