Better Business Bureau warning people of IRS phone scam

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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Telephone scams are targeting people in the twin cities again, and the Better Business Bureau says some of these calls have people feeling unsafe.

George Mueller received a call on Monday, from a man claiming to be an IRS agent. Mueller says they threatened to arrest him if he didn't pay an outstanding tax balance.

"He said, well, within two hours of this phone call, I can call your local sheriffs office and have a warrant for your arrest." - Mueller says.

Better Business Bureau manager, Jo Ann Deal, says he's not the only one being targeted. She says the number of calls escalates during the holidays.

"Holiday activities lead scammers to think everybody is busy and confused and we just need to get this taken care of, so they tend to want to get it over with, and do what they say." - Deal says.

Some scammers will use caller ID numbers to look like legitimate agencies, making it difficult for victims to tell the difference, but Deal says the IRS never calls to demand immediate payments over the phone.

"The IRS is never going to arrest you; they will go through a legal procedure if they even have any information." - Deal says.

She says if you receive a call from someone saying they're from the IRS, you should hang up and call the police.

"If a consumer will report the phone call, date, time, and the number where the call is received, the fcc can then begin to unmask and resolve this mystery of who placed the call." - Deal says.

The Better Business Bureau says another way to identify a phone scam is if the caller asks for pre-paid credit cards to pay off a balance. They say that is something the IRS does not ask for.