Police warn against phony callers demanding money

WATERTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police in Watertown are warning residents about a phone scam targeting Connecticut taxpayers.

“It’s like a call that doesn’t make sense,” said Angela Abreu, Waterbury.

According to reports, people are receiving phone calls with someone on the other line claiming to be an IRS agent. The person then says that you owe a lot money, and unless you’re able to reach a settlement, you risk being arrested. This person will end the conversation by asking that you go to a place like CVS or 7-Eleven to transfer the needed funds. 

To an unsuspecting person the requests can seem reasonable, but Detective Kevin Ferrucci says its all part of an effort to steal your money

“Ultimately what it leads to is they want them to money gram or send it Western Union to an address out of state,” said Detective Kevin Ferrucci, Watertown Police Department.

It happens more often than you might think; one woman said that she received a similar phone call just a few months ago.

watertown police

“I don’t owe money to the IRS, so I’m like this is a joke, so I just hang up the phone,” said Abreu.

She got off easy compared to a case Watertown police told us happened in their town just days ago. They said a resident received a call from scammers with the same pitch, but no one predicted what would what happen next. They received a frantic report of a home invasion as fabricated as the IRS call itself.

The scammers used a tactic called “swatting.” This tactic involves calling the local police department and manipulating the caller ID, so to a dispatcher it appears as though you’re the one whose making a plea for help.

“I believe what they did with the swatting is to make these people believe that they were about to be arrested, as they said when they called from the IRS. So, we responded with a large amount of officers and it makes the IRS scam more believable to the victim,” said Detective Ferrucci.

Believable perhaps, but officials say that if you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS demanding you wire them money, then tell them you’ll get back to them and immediately contact police.

“It’s a scam from beginning to end,” said Detective Ferrucci.

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