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Sheriff Issues Warning of IRS Scams as “Hundreds” of Palm Coast Residents Report Fraud

| February 17, 2016

Vince Liguori irs tax scam

Don’t mess with Vince: Vince Liguori , a Palm Coast resident, has received ‘two or three calls’ from IRS fraudsters, and let them know in salty language what he thought of them. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Friday the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office logged “at least 30 reports” of local residents complaining of fraudsters claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, and threatening various actions, including lawsuits, if the person being called did not himself or herself call a certain number “immediately.”

By Wednesday, the head of the sheriff’s dispatch center (or 911) was reporting “hundreds of calls” from residents complaining of IRS scammers. One of them was Vince Liguori, the crusty Palm Coast resident and habitue of government meetings, where his candor often pierces through bureaucratic nonsense. He is not one to tolerate scammers. “I’ve gotten two or three calls,” he said today (Feb. 17). “The first time they came in on a 202 number, that’s Washington, D.C.–to get their legitimacy.”

Liguori immediately turned the tables on the caller, either asking for a supervisor, which ends the call very quickly–the scammers hang up–or telling the callers in salty language his opinion of the scam. Liguori contacted the IRS, the sheriff’s office and his phone service provider, though his service provider told him that scammers are using “a myriad of numbers” to cheat people.

The calls, of course, are a fraud: the IRS does not call people, let alone ask for credit card numbers or threaten arrest over failure to pay taxes. Scammers frequently invent alleged past-due bills or taxes, preying on the elderly or immigrants or individuals who may not have a command of the system.

These types of bogus phone calls happen all year round, the sheriff’s office cautioned in a release, but especially during tax season. Since October 2013, federal authorities have received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts. More than 4,550 victims have collectively over $23 million as a result of phone scams. The Sheriff’s Office and the IRS continue to warn people to stay alert to these kinds of calls from criminals who intend to steal money or consumers’ identity.

The sheriff’s office and the IRS provide the following tips:

The IRS won’t call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.

If you don’t owe taxes, don’t give any information. Hang up immediately.

Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. You can use its web page “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” or call 800-366-4484.

Report such calls to the Federal Trade Commission: Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Specify “IRS Telephone Scam.”

If you do owe taxes or think you may owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040 (preferably with good reading material and a beer in hand or a TV nearby: it may take a while to get through). Politicians’ rhetoric notwithstanding, IRS workers can help you.

Don’t fall victim to these scams. Don’t give anyone information over the phone that you don’t know, regardless of how trustworthy they may seem. For more information, go to and visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts.”

7 Responses for “Sheriff Issues Warning of IRS Scams as “Hundreds” of Palm Coast Residents Report Fraud”

  1. Vincent A. Liguori says:

    FlaglerLive: Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Hopefully, your article will raise awareness of IRS legitimate procedures and spare many of our citizens unnecessary fear and worry.

  2. RG says:

    I had them call me a couple of months ago and scare the hell out of me. I knew I always paid my taxes and was not in arrears but when they told me that a Sheriff was on his way to my location now to arrest me, I just cried.. saying I didn’t understand, at that point the guy got really rude telling me to stop saying I didn’t understand, blah blah blah, my partner came into the room at that time, I told him what was going on as he saw me crying, advised me it was a scam, at that point I said that to the caller he at that point told me to suck his ….. and hung up. I know how it affected me, I can only imagine the more elderly and immigrants trying to just do the right thing,,, they should be prosecuted for this fraudulent and demeaning act.

  3. Layla says:

    RG, have a little fun. Let the caller know that thanks to his caller ID, the feds are on the way to arrest him and watch how quickly the profanity begins and the call ends.

  4. RG says:

    Yes, I am better informed and am looking forward to receiving a call from them again

  5. GoodFella says:

    I actually got a call just the other day and the information is always so vague. You can tell its a scam when you start asking in depth questions. What year are you talking about? What did I pay and what is the dollar difference and why? Can I get all this info emailed or mailed to me? Can you verify my info for me? They get so frustrated and start stumbling. I had caller ID and then gave the number to the IRS but nowadays they can be calling from anywhere and just use a specific caller ID number but its not actually that number. The caller that called us actually tried us about 4 times in one day and always with a foreign accent. It is a scam but it must be working on some people or they would not keep doing it. Very sad to see people get scammed out of their hard earned money.

  6. Not again says:

    People, this exact same scam happens every year at this time. Why is Manfre so reactive to crime and NOT proactive? He could have taken steps to educate the community but instead he waits for this game to begin and then reacts to it for publicity sake only.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What is the Treasury Department, the F.B.I. and the DOJ doing about these scammers…if anything? It seems to me that the calls I have been receiving are not only robotic but do not use English language syntax. I have followed the procedure to report to all relevant agencies but one wonders to what degree such things are being investigated.

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