For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Merrimac Police Warn Residents of IRS Scam Involving Police Impersonators
MERRIMAC — Chief Eric Shears and the Merrimac Police Department are warning residents of an IRS scam involving an individual impersonating law enforcement officers and threatening victims with arrest for non-payment of taxes.
According to police, the caller reportedly spoofs the police department’s phone number and asks victims to pay money owed on back taxes immediately by loading money onto a Target gift card and providing the card number back to the caller.
The call was followed up by another call in which the scammer claims to be Chief Shears and threatens to arrest call recipients.
“The Merrimac Police Department will never contact a community member regarding their financial status or taxes. Additionally, as the chief, I would never call a resident and threaten to arrest them,” Chief Shears said. “We encourage anyone who receives a suspicious call to contact the police department immediately and never give out their personal information over the phone.”
To avoid becoming a victim of an IRS scam, residents are encouraged to remember the following:
- The IRS first contacts people by mail — not by phone — about unpaid taxes.
- The IRS will not ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card, a money order or wire transfer.
- The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.
- The IRS never requests personal or financial information by email, text or social media.
If you receive a call from an IRS scammer, hang up. Do not engage with these callers.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment and if you think you owe money, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
The IRS also advises residents to forward scam emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and to not open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
If you are ever unsure about a potential scam, contact the Merrimac Police Department at 978-346-8321.