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City of Sequim News & Alerts

Posted on: August 24, 2017

Fraud Alert

On 8/24/17 a fraud was reported to the Sequim Police Department. The victim received a telephone call from a person stating they were from the IRS and back taxes were owed. A second call to the victim stated the Sequim Police were involved in the investigation, which is untrue. The caller ID indicated the call was coming from the Sequim Police Department business line. The phone number had been cloned so it appeared legitimate, however it was not.

The caller asked the victim to pay back taxes in the form of gift cards, a practice that is not a reasonable form of restitution payment to the federal government.

Suspects can be persistent and call victims numerous times. In this case the victim came to the police department and subsequent calls were answered by an actual Sequim Police Officer. The suspect hung up on the officer.

This is a common scam known as “phishing” where the suspect calls citizens attempting to extort money from them. They may clone different phone numbers, including police department phone numbers, so it appears it is legitimate. It is extremely difficult to track the caller, who is likely calling from out of the area or from another country.

Similar types of scam have been reported several other times in Clallam County and Port Townsend earlier this year.

The Sequim Police Department does not investigate federal tax fraud. If you suspect the call is a scam the best course of action is to hang up.

Per the IRS website; if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee:

1. Record the employee's name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
2. Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
• If the person calling you is an IRS employee, call them back.
• If not, report the incident to TIGTA and to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov (Subject: 'IRS Phone Scam')
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