Surge in IRS scam calls has police warning you to ‘hang up!’

NEW BERLIN -- Police say IRS scammers are flooding phone lines and leaving threatening messages. The scammers are using the police to try and scare people to give them money. In New Berlin, police say they had trouble keeping up with the calls.

"We've had 30 calls in a little over an hour today," said Captain Mike Glider, New Berlin Police Department. "They had been called by an IRS scam robocall asking them for money and they are asked to call back in the next 24 hours because they were in trouble with back taxes."

The calls are fake and it's not just New Berlin dealing with them. The sudden surge in scam calls has prompted the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to send out a statewide alert.

Here's how the scam works: you get a phone call, they say it's from the IRS and you've got a bill to pay. If you don't pay up in 24 hours, the cops are coming to get you.

The scam is not new. Contact 6 reported last winter, it's the most common scam this time of year, and every year people fall for it.

The latest blast of scam calls are coming in greater numbers than before.

"The volume is very unusual," said Glider.

Mike Glider

Police are urging you to give a heads up to those close by, especially older family and friends who may be more susceptible to becoming a victim.

The good news, while the calls have been frequent, New Berlin police say their community is outsmarting the bad guys.

"No one has fallen for it. No one has been victimized," said Glider.

Police from across the state have reported getting these scam phone calls in mass numbers the past couple weeks. Best advice if you receive one: hang up!