Beshear warns of IRS scams

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Scam Alert
Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert Thursday to help Kentucky families avoid falling victim to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams.

Beshear said his office issued a scam alert after receiving multiple IRS scam reports from Kentuckians in Murray and Calloway County over the past 24 hours.

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Local residents report receiving a call from a New York phone number, where the caller claims to be an IRS agent and demands immediate payment over the phone. If the victim refuses, the scam caller threatens that law enforcement will be contacting them for possible prosecution, arrest or deportation.

“The IRS will never call and demand immediate payment over the phone,” Beshear said. “If you are contacted by someone claiming to be an IRS agent and threatening arrest, hang-up and report it to the actual IRS.”

Reports are currently coming in from Western Kentucky, but all Kentuckians can avoid falling victim to the scam if they remember these tips.

The IRS will never:

  • Call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Require that you pay your taxes only by credit card or prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
  • Email asking for personal information.

The IRS website also provides a list of current scams that are targeting taxpayers.

One of the critical missions of the Office of the Attorney General is to help Kentucky families and seniors recognize and avoid scams.

Kentuckians interested in staying ahead of scammers can sign up to receive Scam Alerts from Beshear’s office by texting the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or visit ag.ky.gov/scams to sign up with your mobile phone number or email address.

To report scams to the Office of the Attorney General call 888-432-9257 or file a consumer complaint online.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.