Using Every Trick In The Book
From false claims of a family member in trouble to posing as federal agencies, crooks continue to call local residents and try to swindle them out of their hard-earned money, police reported.
The latest type of phone scam, according to 104th Precinct sources, was reported recently by a local resident who received a call from someone claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In recent weeks, the Times Newsweekly reported on similar scams involving phone scammers posing as IRS agents threatening victims with immediate arrest if they do not provide quick payment for a purported debt. The scammers often demand that the victim purchase a Green Dot pre-paid debit card with a value of several thousand dollars, then call the scammer back to provide the card’s serial number.
However, in this latest scam, the so-called IRS agent told the victim he was selected as a “good citizen” and would be granted total amnesty if the victim provided an immediate $1,000 payment, authorities said.
The victim reportedly hung up on the caller and notified the 104th Precinct.
Other phone scams reported to precincts across the city include callers posing as foreign law enforcement agents who contact a victim and inform them that a loved one has arrested for a crime or kidnapped. The caller demands that the victim provide thousands of dollars by money order or a wire transfer in exchange for the loved one’s release.
Phone scammers have also been known to pose as representatives of utility companies and threaten immediate disruption of services if a payment-also sent by the victim via Green Dot pre-paid cards-is not provided within a few hours.
P.O. Brenda Hyatt of the 104th Precinct Crime Prevention Unit advised residents never to send any money to unknown individuals who contact them by phone. The caller should hang up, then contact 911 to report the suspected crime.
For those contacted by a purported utility company, victims should contact the service provider through the phone number on their latest bill and verify if any outstanding debts are owed. Generally, phone, cable, gas and electric companies notify customers of outstanding debts by mail, not by phone.
Individuals contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who believe they may owe back taxes should also directly contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.