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The original item was published from 10/7/2016 9:01:38 AM to 1/1/2017 12:20:01 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: October 7, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Be aware of ongoing phone scams

scam alert

Tax season may have ended months ago, but scammers don’t take time off. Plenty of Roswell residents are still receiving scam calls from callers claiming to be from the IRS or U.S. Treasury and telling the intended victims they owe taxes. The caller insists payment needs to be made immediately. The scam may include threats of arresting the person or taking other legal action.

The IRS does not collect through phone calls. Anyone who actually does owe taxes to the government would be contacted in a much more formal manner, including documentation from an official agency that can be verified properly.

Another frequently seen scam involves a caller claiming to be from a computer company or service and telling the person their computer has some sort of issues and must be fixed. The caller tries to convince the person to enter certain codes or download a program to give the scammer remote access to it. The scammer can then either steal information (such as financial data) and/or “lock” the computer and then hold it hostage until the owner pays to have it unlocked.

Other popular scams include a caller claiming to be the grandchild of the person being called. The caller explains he or she has been arrested and needs money to get out of jail or for another reason. Another scam claims to represent Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes or another prize giveaway. That scam asks people to provide money to the caller or an associate to cover some sort of “fees” or “taxes” before the prize can be awarded.

Always be very cautious when you receive a call from an unknown person requesting you to take some sort of action, especially involving money or personal and financial information. If you are asked to make some sort of payment by going to a store and buying a prepaid debit card and then reading the card number to someone on the phone, whatever is going on may not be an honest transaction.

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