IRS scam targets Amherst

AMHERST – If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, hang up on them, or better yet, write down everything they say and reported it to the police.

“The IRS never calls you,” said Amherst Town Clerk Nancy Demers, the federal agency always contacts people by mail.

An Amherst resident was almost the victim of a phone scam last week. The woman, who did not want her name published, said a man saying he represented the IRS called to say there was a problem with her tax returns and the agency had been trying to reach her for seven weeks, coming to the house and leaving messages on her phone. He told her she could be arrested because she owned $7,800 in back taxes and police would be at her house if she didn’t send them money soon.

They sounded legitimate, she said, “as if they had all their ducks in a row.

“I was so upset,” she said. “They were really threatening and intimidating. They said all my assets would be taken and I would be arrested.”

The woman said that if she had had access to the cash, she probably would have sent the money.

But then she called her employer and her accountant and they both told her it’s a scam.

So the woman called the New Hampshire attorney general’s office and local police. Several days later, she received another phone call, and I “gave him a few choice words,” she said. “People should be warned.”

Amherst Police Chief Mark Reams said he is not familiar with this particular scam, but remembers a few years ago seven or eight people in Amherst reported a scam involving tax returns.