It’s the tax scam

LIHUE — A Kapaa woman reported receiving a scam phone call Friday morning.

The resident said the call came in about 11 a.m. First, there was a garbled message. Then, the recorded voice on the other end of the line said this was an “official and final notice” from the legal department of the Internal Revenue Service.

“The nature and purpose of this call is to inform you that the Internal Revenue Service is fielding a lawsuit against. Either press 1 or call immediately on our department number.”

A phone call by The Garden Island to the number given was answered after one ring by a recorded message: “The person you are trying to reach is not available. Please leave a message after the beep.”

The Kapaa resident said she and her husband don’t owe the IRS any money and didn’t call the number or press 1.

She laughed as she pointed out the call to her home referred to “fielding a lawsuit” instead of filed.

“I don’t know what fielding a lawsuit means,” she said

The scam call is one reason she and her husband don’t answer the phone when it’s a number they don’t recognize.

Sarah Blane, county spokeswoman, said fake calls purporting someone owes money to an organization like the IRS or bank — because it could be the person receiving the call actually does — are among the more popular scams throughout the year.

The Kauai Police Department offers tips to avoid being the victim of a scam:

• Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers.

• Use caution when responding to unsolicited calls or e-mails, or unknown individuals on social networking sites.

• Check your bank, credit card and phone statements regularly. If you see an unknown or unauthorized charge, immediately notify your bank or service provider.

• If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.


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