Officials Warn of IRS Scams Targeting Bay Area Residents

The IRS scams are now more sophisticated and more aggressive than ever, according to authorities.

Authorities are warning of scammers looking to cash in during tax season.

The IRS scams are now more sophisticated and more aggressive than ever, and are targeting local residents, according to authorities.

The scammers know personal information and call from what appears to be Washington, D.C.

Hercules-resident James Mijares said two days after filing his taxes using online software he got a voice mail from what appeared to be the IRS.

When Mijares called back the scammer told him "do you know that you violated the law?"

The person on the phone had Mijares' personal information, a Washington, D.C. area code and a case number. Mijares was told he owed $90,000 in back taxes.

Mijares said he was told he could pay $9,000 right now and the case would be closed.

"They are very brazen," said Connie Van Putten with the Hercules Police Department. "I had one lady in my office who was getting calls like every 10-15 minutes from this guy."

Hercules police said they are seeking more victims than ever before and scammers are picking very specific targets.

"It is people with foreign sounding last names that look like they haven't been in the country a long time, and they are not sophisticated enough to know that the IRS does not make phone calls. They only send letters," Van Putten said.

Luckily Mijares saw through the scam, but worries others will not.

"When you are in that position, you will think that it is true," Mijares said.

The IRS stresses that the agency would mail a bill before ever calling if anyone owed back taxes. Officials said to never give out your bank information and if threatened to contact authorities.

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