The income tax deadline is fast approaching and scammers are working overtime.

Ocean County residents are being cautioned that scam artists may call them on the telephone, pretending to be IRS agents or police officers.  The caller then claims that the intended victim owes money to the agency and demands immediate payment via credit/debit card or money transfer.

Ed McBride is the Deputy Director of Consumer Protection for the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs.  He says the IRS would never do that.

"The IRS almost always transacts business by mail and certified mail," McBride said.

If you receive a phone call that makes you suspicious, McBride recommends asking the caller for a callback number or a mailing address.  He says would-be scammers often hang up when confronted.

Other safety tips include:

  • Do not get involved in a conversation with a caller whose identity you can't verify.
  • Never give out personal information, especially banking or credit card information.
  • Don't trust any caller who uses threats or tries to intimidate you.

If you believe you've been targeted by this scam, contact the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105 or online at www.co.ocean.nj.us/consumer