Sheriff Dept. and IRS Scam

Scam Alert

Friday, May 2, 2014

There have been reports of telephone scams in and around the Solon area. Two scams that seem more common are those that involve someone calling your phone and reporting to be from the Sheriff's Department or the IRS. They may be stern or rude with you. The bogus caller may insist that you are in some kind of trouble. They may threaten immediate arrest. They will then ask for you to settle whatever the dispute is by paying them in some form. Legitimate law enforcement will not operate in this manner.

Here's a technique you can use if you feel uncomfortable just hanging up and ignoring these types of phone calls. Ask the caller for his name and badge number. Tell the caller that you would like to call him back immediately. Look up the phone number for the organization yourself, and give them a call. Ask if they have an Officer/ Agent by that name. Tell them the reason you are calling. It is likely that they have already had these types of calls and will assure you that it is a scam. If the caller calls back, tell them to stop calling and ignore future calls. You can report continued scam phone calls to law enforcement.

Request for payment has recently come in the form of Green Dot cards or other prepaid gift cards. I can't imagine that a law enforcement agency accepts prepaid gift cards as payment for violations. This should be a huge clue that you are dealing with a scammer. You can use a computer to use these anonymous forms of payment, so the scammer may not even be in the same country as you. Some scammers seem to try to target first generation americans, or immigrants who may come from other countries where law enforcement may use more intimidating tactics. If you are a first generation American or have a very ethnic sounding name, this may also be a clue that you are dealing with a scam.

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