BY DREW HOWARD
In a press release distributed Monday, July 9, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson urged community members to stay on the alert for a phone scam threatening arrest by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for unpaid taxes.
Patterson received a call on his personal cell phone Friday, July 6 from an alleged IRS member who threatened him with arrest unless he called a number and arranged to clear up his phony tax debt, according to the press release. Patterson said such calls are not representative of IRS policies.
“This is a fraud,” Patterson said in the press release. “This isn’t how the IRS operates. The IRS will never, never make a phone call and threaten to send an agent to your home to arrest you. They will always send a letter explaining any issue or dispute they have.”
A county investigator is reporting they too got a call threatening arrest by the IRS just minutes after Patterson’s. The investigator returned the call using a fictitious name and social security number and was told he owed $8,000. When he asked if he could pay $4,000 of the debt, the scammer said he would see if it was a possibility.
The investigator notes he was hung up on immediately after revealing they were a law enforcement official.
“These scammers are blanketing the area with this fraud,” Patterson adds in the press release. “Do not believe them. If you get such a call, I encourage you to call your local police department or the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.”