New IRS tax scam targets Barrington employees

Town employees receive refunds before filing returns


Give the con-artists credit, they know how to be creative.

An apparent new IRS tax return scam was discovered in Barrington last week when a handful of town employees noticed that someone had deposited money into their bank accounts. 

Read about other tax scams

The first incident surfaced on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when two town employees contacted police to report the unexpected bank deposits. The employees said the deposits were between $200 and $300 and had come from the Internal Revenue Service. 

Here's the problem: None of the employees had filed a tax return yet.

A closer examination of the situation showed that the tax refunds were actually for much more money — more than $3,000 each — but the vast majority of the money had been placed onto pre-paid credit cards. Those cards reportedly belonged to the scam perpetrators. 

Police said all the Barrington employees who were targeted in the scam used the same bank. Police told the town employees to contact the IRS and report the fraudulent transactions. 

In recent years, Barrington residents and people across the country have been targeted in another fraudulent tax return scheme. The victims' personal information is used to file a fake tax return; the victims discover the situation after they attempt to file a legitimate return only to be told by the IRS that a return using their information has already been filed. 


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.