We have received word of phony “Peoples Gas” phone calls and appointments being scheduled with residents at Park Tower. These are most likely people calling you, asking for personal information and perhaps even trying to schedule an appointment. This appears to be a “phishing scam” which could result in identity theft and fraud.
First, there is absolutely no reason representatives of Peoples Gas would be calling residents of Park Tower and certainly not for personal information or to schedule appointments for any reason. There is no conceivable reason Peoples gas would need to visit any units, with the exception of any time you might smell gas. And that would be a huge stretch itself.
We can not imagine why they are attempting this with Park Tower residents since there is no gas service to units. But we have received word that these calls are being made and that in at least one call, they told the resident they had an appointment to visit her unit!!
If you get such a call from “Peoples Gas” we suggest you hang up immediately. Otherwise, you could give them the office phone number and refer them to us, at 773-769-3250. Peoples Gas also requests you call them to report it at 866-556-6001.
Here is more information about this directly from People’s Gas:
Individuals posing as IRS agents call tax payers and demand payment for supposed back taxes.
We first learned of this back in April last year, and posted multiple alerts about this in 2015. However, we have heard from residents at PTCA that this is continuing despite the governments attempts to stop and catch the thieves. This is a SCAM! How do I know? Because the IRS does not use the telephone to contact taxpayers behind on their taxes – they will send letters and notices.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be an IRS collections agent, just hang up. The IRS does not make such phone calls. The IRS only conveys collections information and notices in writing via the US Mail.
Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat, Remain on IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2016 Filing Season
IR-2016-14, Feb. 2, 2016
WASHINGTON — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.
“Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”
“There are many variations. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into making a payment,” Koskinen added. “Some schemes may say you’re entitled to a huge refund. These all add up to trouble. Some simple tips can help protect you.”
The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.
This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.
“The IRS continues working to warn taxpayers about phone scams and other schemes,” Koskinen said. “We especially want to thank the law-enforcement community, tax professionals, consumer advocates, the states, other government agencies and particularly the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for helping us in this battle against these persistent phone scams.”
Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via aphishing email.
Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.
The IRS will never:
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.
(Credit – IRS.gov)