Ohio Reporting Increase in IRS Impersonation Scams

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio has received increased reports of an Internal Revenue Service impersonation scam in which con artists tell consumers they are in trouble with the federal agency and owe money.

Consumers are told they must call a phone number for more information and are then told they must send money using a prepaid card or wire transfer to correct the IRS problem.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Help Center received more than 600 reports of the scam between Nov. 18 and Nov. 25, about three times as many as the previous week.

Authorities say consumers receiving such calls should hang up immediately.

Most Ohio consumers reporting the scam haven’t lost money. But federal officials say more than 4,000 victims nationwide have paid a total of more than $23 million since October 2013.