Scam Alert Update (2/4/2016) – On Wednesday afternoon, February 3, 2016, the Lacey Township Police Department received a report of a Forked River resident who had just been defrauded $6,435.00 through the telephone IRS scam. The 75-year-old female resident received a call from a male with a foreign accent (possibly India) claiming to be an IRS agent collecting on back taxes. Threats were reportedly made that the resident would be arrested if she did not make an immediate payment. The resident responded to the Wells Fargo Bank on Lacey Road and followed the caller’s instructions to facilitate the deposit of money into a specified account. Once Lacey Township Police Department became aware of the transaction, Officer Brian Holt worked with bank officials to possibly block the transaction. The matter is under active investigation. The Lacey Township Police Department produced a Warning Notice from information provided on the IRS.gov website and distributed it to each of banks in town.
Prior Release (2/1/2016)
While telephone and computer scams, both national and international and of all types, have become a daily occurrence and are only limited by the level of creativity and deceptive of the scammer, there appears to be a heightened level of the IRS telephone scam being attempted today. Residents should be aware that this scam involves an attempt by the caller to sound very official and authoritative in telling the potential victim that the caller is operating under the authority of the IRS. False threats are made stating that the potential victim will be arrested if he or she does not forward an immediate payment.
Any legitimate concern with the IRS would involve a lengthy process of official notifications with some degree of due process over time. Residents are asked to not entertain these callers and simply hang up. A vast majority of the scam calls are coming from locations in other countries and unfortunately continue because victims do, in too many cases, forward payments in the false belief the call may be legitimate. Unfortunately, over the past three years there have been several cases investigated to no successful conclusion involving the loss of tens of thousands of dollars to scammers. – Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.