As tax season arrives, the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office is warning of scammers posing as the IRS.
Herndon Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila is the caregiver of his sister, Elena, and he said he almost fell for the scam. A caller claimed Elena owed money to the government and asked for her bank account information.
"They were gonna file litigation, and it sent me in a panic,” del Aguila said. “I was this close and I felt so ignorant. It was just painful."
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said scammers often target immigrants, based on last names. He said if it feels wrong, it’s likely a scam.
"If someone comes forward, we will not be cooperating with ICE on civil deportation hearings,” Descanso said. “We will not be turning over your information. We are here to help you."
Some common signs of scams are:
- Emails promising money in exchange for personal information
- Phone calls demanding money and threatening deportation
- Social media impersonators, posing as your friends
- Fake tax return preparers
The IRS normally does not call people by phone; instead, it mails you a letter and does not demand payment on the spot.
Del Aguila is sharing his experience to warn others who may fall for the scam and is encouraging everyone to stay aware so scammers won’t take people’s hard-earned money.
"I thought, 'Man, if this is happening to me, they are targeting other people relentlessly,'” del Aguila said. “Let’s get this out there, just so people don’t fall for this."