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BEND, OR -- Bend Police continue to investigate calls from con artists claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, pressuring victims to give up personal and financial information. Local reports initially came in June but scammers have continued, threatening jail time or financial penalties for unpaid taxes. 

 
Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh says con artists are getting more clever. "They’re spoofing caller ID numbers, so it’ll say ‘IRS’ and look more legitimate. It’s a little concerning. We just want to get more information out to the community so they’ll be prepared if they do get a phone call, because it could happen to any one of us; all they need to do is find your phone number."  And, he says these reports are tough to investigate, "Unfortunately, it’s very tough for us because a lot of times these scammers aren’t even in the United States; and it becomes a federal case. I think the best bet is to follow the information given out by the IRS and the IRS is taking this very seriously." Click HERE for tips from the IRS.
 
"The IRS does not initiate contact with the taxpayer by the telephone or through email. So, if you get an email from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, that’s most likely a phishing scam," David Tucker, with the IRS, tells KBND News. He says the agency typically contacts taxpayers by U.S. mail.
 
He also says electronically filing taxes is the safest way to transmit your information to the IRS. "If you file electronically and then request direct deposit, that’s the fastest way and safest way to get your refund back to you."

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