Crime Scene TapeA spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Revenue says a potential phone scam that has been used to target Iowans through other organizations could now be using the Department of Revenue too.

Victoria Daniels says a taxpayer reported the scam. “He had received an automated call and the caller ID displayed 515-281-3114, and it was our taxpayer service number,” Daniels explains. ” It’s published, it’s not a secret, it is our number. He picked up the phone and it was some kind of automated recording telling him he had a refund from the Iowa Department of Revenue.”

She says the recording asked the person if he wanted to deposit the refund in an established account or wanted to donate it to an animal charity organization. Daniels says the man had already received his refund, so he knew the call was not real. “It is just incredible how many people in how many ways try to get a fraudulent refund and fraudulent profit at the expense of real people,” Daniels says.

A similar scam has been reported by other organizations where the scammers “spoof” their phone number to fool people into giving them personal information so they can steal from them. Daniels wants to warn Iowans about the scam. “First of all, we will not call you to tell you you have a refund. Second of all, we would not call using an automated system with one exception. And that is, if you owe us some money and that money is collectable, you may receive a call from our automated collections center,” according to Daniels.

She says if you receive a scam call you should report it. “They can call us and we’ll ask them for some information. They can also call the Iowa Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Division to report the fraud,” Daniels says. She says you should not provide any personal information over the phone.