Police agencies in the area are warning area residents to be wary as a new phone scam has been making the rounds in the area.
A Mount Kisco woman reported to Westchester County Police investigators that she had been scammed out of $4,000 by a person claiming to be from the IRS late last month.
According to the woman, she received a call saying that she was in tax arrears and she proceeded to follow the fraudster’s instructions to purchase gift cards and call back with the numbers associated with them.
“Westchester County Police remind residents that the IRS will not contact taxpayers by phone and will never ask for payment of any kind through gift cards,” the department noted.
In North Castle, police issued an alert stating that “some popular phone scams are people claiming to be from the IRS saying you owe back taxes or being from the Social Security Administration requesting your Social Security Number. The caller will then request that you pay your “debt” by purchasing gift cards.”
“Residents should be reminded that the government will never contact taxpayers by phone and will never ask for payment through gift cards,” they said. “Also, be aware that just because a number pops up on your caller ID claiming to be legitimate, that does not mean that it always is. Callers can ‘spoof’ their phone numbers on your Caller ID, making it appear that they are from a legitimate agency.”
- According to police, residents can protect themselves by:
- Register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry. Calls, after you’re on it, are likely scams
- Be wary of callers claiming that you’ve won a prize or a vacation package
- Be cautious of Caller ID. Scammers can change their number on your caller ID
- Research business opportunities, charities, or travel packages separately from the information that the caller has provided.
Things police said residents should not do include:
- Don’t give into pressure to take immediate action
- Don’t say anything if a caller starts the call asking, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying “yes.” Scammers record your “yes” response to use as proof that you agreed to a purchase or a credit card charge.
- Don’t provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
- Don’t send money if the caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.