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Better Business Bureau warns Piedmont residents of IRS scams

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kevin Hinterberger works with people who have been targeted by IRS scams all the time.

"We field several calls a week, if not a day," said Hinterberger, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina.

The scammer usually makes a phony threat.

"If you pay us today, we can take care of that otherwise you will be arrested,” Hinterberger said. “There will be some type of criminal prosecution."

He says, in most cases, the person claiming to be from the IRS has a foreign accent.

Hinterberger said he wasn’t surprised when this week police in India arrested 70 people and are investigating hundreds of others for allegedly using call centers to pose as IRS workers who targeted Americans.

"We're happy there has been action that has been taken and these rings have been shut down or are getting shut down," he said.

Hinterberger says within the last year and a half, the BBB had about 162 reports of IRS scams in the Triad and about 500 reported throughout the state.

Luckily, he says most people who get the calls, don't send money.

"They recognize what's going on,” Hinterberger said. “They want to report it."

Hinterberger says the biggest red flag is the phone call itself or anything that isn't in writing.

"The IRS does not call people and threaten them with arrests or any other type of action," He said.