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West Virginians among many hit by IRS scam

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — More than 366,000 people around the country have been targeted by fake IRS agents, with over 3,000 falling for the ruse since 2013, costing victims $15.5 million, according to a federal investigator.

The scammers make harassing phone calls demanding payments and threatening jail in the largest scam of its kind in the history of the agency, Timothy Camus said in a press release. Camus is a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration.

Jeffrey James, special agent for IRS-Criminal Investigation, Bridgeport, said he is aware of some local residents who were targeted, including one in Fairmont.

Clarksburg Police Detective Sgt. Jason Webber said the scams have increased dramatically since the IRS went to electronic filing, and they multiply every year during tax filing season. He has received complaints for years, with the latest one being reported Thursday.

“Someone tried to file a tax return on someone else. I think there’s a heck of a lot of scams out there. The person gets enraged and violent (with the would-be victim). I’ve directed some residents to block the number,” Webber said. “Some are using a Skype number. They request the prepaid debit cards. We had two reports in the last two weeks in which the victims purchased the prepaid card. One victim did it twice because they were told the original was lost.”

Webber stressed that the IRS will not call you on the phone and will not threaten you. The IRS will never have you put money on a prepaid card to pay a debt…

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