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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

BUFFALO -- As we get closer to the April 18 tax filing deadline, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York wants everyone to know that tax and IRS scammers are still busy making calls, trying to trick people into paying taxes they don’t owe.

Did you get a call from Steve Martin, Ron Schneider, Kevin Mason, Vicki Thompson or Dennis Gray? Or a message that says "you will be arrested if you do not make restitution immediately. This is your last chance before going to jail?" Or "Hello, official final notice from IRS. The IRS is ready to bring a lawsuit against you. To find out more about this case please call our department number?”

Several people reported receiving calls from these names and messages like these to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker. The good news is: None of them got scammed out of any money. They all recognized the scam and reported it so that others will know, too.

A BBB team member recently received a call from a Rochester-area woman who said the IRS scammers told her they came to her house several times to see her but she wasn’t home. Locally, a Niagara County woman told police the IRS scammers asked her for iTunes gift cards as payment.

The IRS is warning people of a new twist on the scam: The imposters are calling people saying they have their tax returns, but they need to verify information (like a Social Security number or bank account number) before sending it out.

If you receive a call, remember:

  • The IRS will never call you
  • Don't wire any money 
  • Just hang up and don't call back 
  • Never give out your personal information or banking information 

If you get an email, BBB offers this advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information
  • Forward the email to, then delete it
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links
  • Report the email to BBB’s Scam Tracker 
  • For a list of the latest IRS scam warnings, click here. For real-time scam information, visit BBB’s Scam Tracker. Visit our blog at for more information.

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