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Cattaraugus County sheriff warns about IRS phone scams

LITTLE VALLEY – Amid nationwide problems with telephone scam artists posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb warned residents Thursday to never pay off alleged tax debt that a telephone caller claiming to work for the IRS insists be sent through a pre-loaded debit card or a wire transfer.

Such callers always tell the taxpayer that if they refuse to cooperate and send the money they will face either a suspension of a business or driver’s license or even arrest. The sheriff stressed that everyone should be wary of phone calls using scare tactics in demanding immediate payment of an alleged tax debt. He said if such a call is received, residents are encouraged not to give out any personal information and to call their local police agency instead.