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Tulsa Man Poses as IRS Agent, Asks for Payment

March 28, 2011 (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News) TAHLEQUAH -- A man posing as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service recently attempted to take money from a local man.

A county man told Cherokee County sheriff's deputies that on Thursday, a man came to his front door and identified himself as an agent of the IRS. The man produced a photo ID and also a business card, including a supposed employee ID number, and said he was attempting to collect past-due tax filings from 2009.

The victim told deputies he'd already filed his taxes for 2009 and knew he didn't owe the IRS. The man posing as an IRS official asked to see a copy of the victim's tax return, which the victim did allow the man to see.

The victim's wife spoke to the man, while the victim went inside and contacted a toll-free IRS number. He said an IRS employee attempted to check the employee number the impostor had provided, but it wasn't on file.

She told the victim an IRS agent would not show up without making an appointment, and that he or she would also be driving a state vehicle and have an IRS badge, which the man had not presented.

The victim then called 911. Meanwhile, his wife said the IRS impostor was asking her for $2,500 in back taxes. After more discussion, and telling the impostor they had paid their taxes, the victims were able to get the man's license plate number before he left. It reportedly belongs to a Tulsa man.

David Stell, an IRS spokesman for Oklahoma, said impersonations do happen, though not frequently. Telephone or email scams are more frequent, he said.

"People do illegally impersonate IRS employees for purposes such as financial or identity theft," said Stell.

Stell said in most cases, a taxpayer contacted in-person by an IRS employee trying to collect taxes will have previous knowledge that he or she has a tax delinquency, either from letters received from the IRS, or from the filing of a previous tax return having an unpaid balance due.

Anyone approached by someone claiming to be from the IRS can verify such claims by calling the IRS at (800) 829-1040, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, said Stell.

Copyright (c) 2011, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.

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