At least two Glen Rock residents were conned into providing personal information to phone scammers – one of whom claimed to be from the IRS and two others who said they were Social Security agents who’d found a car registered to him at the Mexican border carrying 22 pounds of cocaine.
The purported agents told a 93-year-old borough man that documents that indicated it was his car were found in the abandoned vehicle, Police Chief Glen Ackermann said.
They also claimed that there was a warrant issued for his arrest and that he needed to confirm personal identification – which he unfortunately did, the chief said.
Ackermann explained that Social Security Administration agents investigate bogus benefit claims – not drug dealing.
Borough detectives were reviewing that case, along with that of a woman who said she got a call from a man claiming to be an IRS agent who told her that “she needed to pay money to not be arrested,” Ackermann said.
She, in turn, gave them her date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information before realizing that she was being scammed, he said.
“IRS phone scams are increasingly more frequent,” the chief said.
What people should know, he said, is that most times the IRS “initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
“There are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations,” Ackermann said.
But these aren’t often, he said.
Even then, the chief emphasized, taxpayers will first receive notices in the mail.
As Ackermann noted, the IRS will NEVER:
• Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes:
• Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they claim that you owe:
• Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status, the chief added.
“Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes,” he said.
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