LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — This time of year is prime time for a scam targeting millions of Americans.
A caller claiming you owe the IRS money and demanding payment now or else.
13 Action News spoke with the agent in charge of investigating these crimes in Las Vegas and learned: if you've been a target, you can also be a big part of making it stop.
"I am ticked off," says Diana Grimmesey.
She recently got the suspicious call. It was someone claiming to represent the IRS. She says he didn't waste anytime getting to the point.
"It was right off the bat, from the very get-go, immediately wanted to collect payment," says Diana.
She was told she'd be arrested if she didn't pay. Fortunately, she knew it was a scam and hung up. Now she's warning others.
"These people are really really persistent. It's just a matter of time before you or somebody you care about is going to get scammed," says Diana.
To fight this crime, the Treasury is working with companies that offer prepaid debit and gift cards, requested by irs impersonators. MoneyGram and Apple iTunes are just a couple of the companies that now issue a fraud warning to potential victims. The feds say there's one key thing to keep in mind.
"People need to understand the IRS does not operate that way. We do not have you immediately arrested for not giving us money," says Tara Sullivan, the Las Vegas Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigations.
She says they don't want to just warn you about these scams. Her staff is working year-around to catch these bad guys.
"We have active cases involving individuals in the valley. We also have victims in the valley," says Tara.
Since 2013, Nevadans have lost $862,557 in IRS scams. Nationwide the loss is even more shocking, adding up to more than $72 million. With 130 people charged so far, for their roles in IRS impersonation scams. To find more suspects, Tara says more people need to come forward with vital information.
"It could help investigators track where that phone number was created. What IP address was used. There's so much information that can be gathered from what might seem like a simple tip," says Tara.
To help, Tara says you can file a complaint in person without an appointment and even remain anonymous.
"Anyone locally in the valley who feels like they've been the victim of a scam or had something improper with their tax return, they can come into the IRS office down on City Parkway and meet with somebody from my staff," says Tara.
To file your complaint locally and in person, visit the IRS building at 110 N City Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89106. If you can't make it in, you can call the national IRS number at (800) 366-4484.