Police Warn Residents About Phone Scams

Police in Andover and Plaistow are warning residents about phone call scams after receiving a large number of reports of them in the past few days.

The callers sometimes pose as representative of the IRS demanding personal information. Sometimes, it is a robotic call insisting the resident call back to discuss serious allegations against them.

Though phone scams are not restricted to IRS tax schemes, a 2016 report by the IRS says they are aware that scams which use aggressive and threatening phone calls are the rise.

“The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.”

According to the IRS, any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam:

  • A demand for immediate payment. Or a call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • A demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • The caller requires you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • A request for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threats to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Residents are urged to use diligence and err on the side of caution by never giving out personal information over the phone.

If you believe you may have been the victim of a phone scam, or for more information, see the Federal Trade Commission’s website relating to phone scams, www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams.