Investigators warn of widespread IRS scams

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – IRS scams are nothing new. They happen this time every year, but people still fall for them.

Teri McAlister of Enola was at home when she got a suspicious voicemail.

“The reason for this call is to inform you that the IRS has issued an arrest warrant against you and your physical address is under investigation,” the caller said.

It’s not the first scam call McAlister’s received, but the letters IRS caught her attention this time.

“When you hear the IRS, right away red flags go up,” she said. “Oh my gosh, what did I do? Was I illegal? Did I fill something out wrong? Am I going to be arrested for real? It’s scary.”

Mechanicsburg police Sergeant Tim Dyer said his department has heard dozens of reports about the same scammer.

“If the person leaves you a voicemail, just delete it and don’t respond to it,” Dyer said. “If they don’t get a response, most often they’ll move on to the next person.”

If you answer the call, scammers are often aggressive, demanding urgent action. The end goal is usually to steal your personal information or money.

“Usually in these types of scams, they either ask for an outright credit card payment or the individual is asked to wire, usually by Western Union, some money to a city,” Dyer said. “The use of Green Dot MoneyPaks is also common in these kinds of scams.”

“I just think everybody should be aware,” McAlister said. “I think that the people that are doing that should get a job. Shame on them for taking innocent people and using them and their innocence to take what they work hard for.”

This is one example of the many IRS scams happening across Cumberland County and the Midstate.

There’s much more information online at

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