We just received this information from Officer Rundles, our COPS liaison.
BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING SCAMS:
A recorded message is played indicating that the IRS will be seeking action against you for unpaid taxes. The recording tells you to call a number (it’s usually the very number they called you from) to discuss the situation. They will have you buy gift cards or prepaid cards and give them the numbers to clear your name and avoid arrest. This is not true. The IRS does not call with pre-recorded messages and does not take payment with gift cards or prepaid cards.
Grandkid in jail Scam
A person calls and says “Grandma” or “Grandpa,” you respond “Who is this?” The person says “It’s your grandson/granddaughter. (May add “Don’t you recognize me?”). You respond “(Insert name) is that you?” You have now given them the name of your grandchild and they say “yes, it’s me (insert name).” When you ask about their voice sounding different they will claim to be sick, have a cold, or bad reception. The person will claim to have been arrested for some incident and need money to either get out of jail or pay a lawyer. The person will say they do not want to call their parent(s) to avoid getting in trouble, etc. The person will tell you that their lawyer will call you soon and tell you how to pay. A person later calls and instructs you to buy gift cards or some type of prepaid cards and give them the numbers. This is not true. I do not want to say that no lawyer would ever take payment in gift cards or prepaid cards but I certainly have never heard of one that does. Also, if a person calls from a jail you would be notified because all jail calls are recorded and there is a recording that indicates this in case you do not wish to talk on a recorded line.
Warrant for your arrest Scam
A person calls claiming to be a police officer and tells you there is a warrant for your arrest. The person tells you that you can avoid going to jail if you purchase gift cards or some type of prepaid cards and give them the numbers to pay the fine. This is not true. The police/sheriff department have nothing to do with fines. Those are handled through the court system. Also, if there is a warrant for your arrest officers/deputies will look for you and arrest you. If you are somehow notified by phone that you have a warrant then you would be told to turn yourself in to the local jail (that is a very rare case). We also do not take payment to avoid arresting you. That is extortion and/or bribery. That is illegal.
There are many other versions of these type scams and I just wanted to bring everyone’s attention to them. Most of them are targeting older citizens. If you are ever talking to an officer on the phone and want to confirm their identity then that officer should have no problem giving you ways to do that. I have conducted investigations and needed to allow people to confirm my identity before speaking to me over the phone. I provided them with the phone number to dispatch, gave them my name and badge number, and told them my call sign for the day. They can call and confirm who I am. I also do not get rude about them asking for that information. The scammers will become very rude and threatening if you try questioning them.
If you receive any calls like these, or similar to these, hang up. If you feel the desire to gather information, please get as much information as you can to provide to the real police. Call the police department and file a report. Unfortunately, the majority of these calls are from overseas. However, there may be a possibility that it may not be. Please do not buy gift cards, prepaid cards, or give out any of your financial information for these scams.
Rich Milne and
Your 2016 Board of Directors
Shadburn Ferry Homeowners Association
Shadburn Ferry Homeowners Association