Monday, July 6, 2015

SCAM ALERT! - Suspects Posing as #SMCSO Deputies

Recently, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office has received several reports of suspects (scammers) posing as agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and officials from various law enforcement agencies. During these phone calls, the scammer informs the citizen there is a past due balance on their Federal tax filing. The scammer directs the citizen to load a prepaid money card with funds then call the scammer back to provide the PIN number. The scammer threatens the citizen with arrest if the citizen does not pay immediately.

In another recent phone scam, the scammer directs a citizen to pay a preset bail for failing to appear in grand jury. Once again, the scammer threatens the citizen with arrest if he or she does not load funds onto a prepaid money card and call back with the PIN number. Scammers go to great lengths to APPEAR to be a legitimate IRS or law enforcement agent. In complaints received over the last week, scammers are even identifying themselves as "Sergeant Jacob (SCAMMER), of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Warrant Division" and directing citizens to "hang up and dial 9 1 1 if your call is an emergency" in voice mail messages. 

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and the IRS do not call with threats of arrest, if you don't pay a fine for missing jury duty or to pay back taxes. If YOU receive a scam call anything like those described, HANG UP immediately. Never provide personal information over the phone. 

PLEASE SHARE and be sure warn our elderly folks, who may not surf the internet. They are most vulnerable to these types of scams. 

The IRS reports, “An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.”

Please visit the IRS web site for further information.

How do I report this scam?

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is the agency responsible for investigating this scam. Please follow the below link to report this scam.