Monday, February 19, 2018

Sheriff’s Office gives update on scam targeting Tangipahoa

Sheriff’s Office gives update on scam targeting Tangipahoa
Posted: Feb 10, 2018
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0
From the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office

HAMMOND, LA –-- On Thursday, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Daniel Edwards warned citizens about a phone scam threatening the residents of Tangipahoa Parish. The callers/scammers stated they were with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Court Services, and threatened residents that a payment must be made for outstanding warrants or they would go to jail.

Sheriff Edwards reminds the public that theses types of calls are a scam from callers who are just trying to get your money. "If the sheriff’s office has a warrant for your arrest, we will make a personal visit to you," states Edwards.

TPSO Detectives have been diligently working to find those responsible for preying upon our residents. Currently, detectives with the assistance of local and federal authorities have managed to disconnect the phone line connected to the callers and an investigation is underway as to the source of the scam.

Sheriff Edwards urges residents to always be on alert for potential scammers. The sheriff’s office has received several calls today with reports of a similar phone scam involving the IRS and unpaid taxes. The calls received were from a 202 area code – however the scam is the same, targeted at getting your money.

Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.

Callers try to scare their victims. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

Cons try new tricks all the time. Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.

Just as the sheriff’s office will not call you by phone when there is a warrant for your arrest, the IRS will not:

- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.

- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.

- Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.

- Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

- Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

Also, if you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do - do not give out any information - and hang up immediately!

If you have been a victim of these scammers, please contact us at 985-345-6150.

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