Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan advises residents to protect themselves from telephone scam artists masking their phone numbers so it appears they are with a local law enforcement agency.
The callers will present themselves as a member of law enforcement; claim there is an outstanding federal complaint against the resident and will then try to have the resident send money in order to avoid arrest. Many of the scammers falsely tell the resident they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and must pay immediately.
“The best way for people to protect themselves from these scams is to be aware they are happening,” Sheriff Cryan said. “Law enforcement does not demand money over the phone to avoid a criminal complaint.”
Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam. The IRS does not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS does not call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without offering the chance to question or appeal the amount they say is owed.
- Require a certain payment method for paying taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
Sheriff Cryan advises residents who receive calls they believe are a scam to hang up and call local police.