Courthouse

Police Warn of Phone Scam

NEWTON, NC (March 16, 2018)—The Newton Police Department is warning area residents of a phone scam that has been reported by multiple citizens.

The aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targets taxpayers and has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but they are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may also be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never:
» Call to demand immediate payment.
» Call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
» Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
» Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
» Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
» Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

“We want the public to be aware of this scam and to be vigilant,” Newton Police Chief Don Brown said. “These con artists are targeting our community, and the Newton Police Department is here to help. Anyone who thinks they might have been contacted by scammers is asked to call us.”

If you think you’ve been contacted by scammers or if you’d like more information, call the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.