Scams: Du Quoin police say caller tried to convince granddaughter was in jail
Du Quoin Chief of Police Jamie Ellermeyer Wednesday conveyed to the newspaper that there have been two more attempts to take money from local residents in telephone scams.One involved someone calling a Du Quoin resident claiming to be from the IRS seeking money to settle a federal tax claim.The other involved a man calling a Du Quoin woman to say that “your granddaughter is in jail,” trying to get “bond money” out of a grandmother. The smart grandmother called her granddaughter who said she was fine and certainly not in jail.If you get calls like this, get any information you can that might help police, then call authorities.The most rampant problem:Du Quoin police have received several calls regarding IRS phone scams. Even though tax season ended months ago, scammers still claim victims owe money to the government and must pay up immediately or will suffer serious consequences.In one case, a consumer reported being threatened to be thrown in jail if they did not return calls. In another case, a consumer was given the same ultimatum if they failed to respond to a pending lawsuit against them. Here are some reminders to safeguard yourself from such predatory tactics:The IRS always starts with U.S. mail. If a caller claiming to be an IRS agent notifies you of an outstanding tax debt, but you haven’t received official notification from the IRS through the United States Postal Service, call their bluff. The IRS always starts by sending taxpayers written notification of any tax due via U.S. Mail.The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone, so a request from a caller should raise a red flag.Scammers can be convincing. It’s not unusual for scammers to be able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security number or your address.Look out for “spoofing.” Part of scammers’ sophisticated tactics include “spoofing,” which happens when the caller masks their own number and causes the number of a well-known service, like the IRS, to appear on caller ID.Don’t be bullied. Never trust callers who use threats and hostility to bully their targets into doing what they want. Scams prey on your emotions. Hang up the phone if a scammer gets hostile with you.Keep your PIN. Another piece of information the IRS will never ask for is a PIN, password or similar confidential access information for credit cards or bank accounts. If a caller asks, don’t give it out.
Nov 25, 2015 10:12 PM