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Mar 30

Do you know what to do if a scammer calls? From fake IRS to utility imposters, calls continue

Do you know what to do if a scammer calls you?

Calls continue in Upstate New York from the fake IRS to utility imposters. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York continues to receive reports to our Scam Tracker about the IRS scam.

Scam Calls

Are these calls legit, or a scam?

The good news is, most people are smart enough to recognize the scam and are reporting it to us and the proper authorities.

People are reporting the following to Scam Tracker:

“…Call stating IRS is coming to get me, I owe money.”

“… I then asked him if I was sent out a notice and when and he slipped up and said in 2010. I was then told again that there is an arrest warrant out for me — i asked him if the police were going to come to my home and he said yes and then hung up.”

“…left a message claiming to be calling on behalf of US Treasury about an enforcement action. Threatened appearance before a magistrate or grand jury for federal criminal offense if call was not returned. I did not return the call.”

Utility scam
National Grid is warning its customers about a phone scam. The company says the caller pretends to be from National Grid and demands immediate payment for a “past due bill.” The scammer wants the payment made with a pre-paid debit card.

In a news release, National Grid reminds customers that it does contact via phone over past due balances, but does not accept any kind of payment with a prepaid debit card.

People are reporting the following to Scam Tracker:

“Wanted just under 500 dollars to stop disconnect in 30 minutes. I knew he was scammer and reminded him of such yet he continued. I got his whole name (probably fake) and his employee number from National Grid. Never got to payment but he wanted Western Union. Another tip to scammers. Told him call was recorded and I hung up.”

“The person who answered the phone got a number and ext. I returned the call where I was asked to give my credit card info to pay the bill. When I told the man on the phone I would not give my info. He became very loud yelling and swearing.. He claimed to be National Grid.”

If you get one of these calls, remember the following:

Never wire any money or use a prepaid debit card. National Grid does call people who have past due bills, but the company does not accept prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.

Again, the IRS will never call, and will send you a bill in the mail if you owe taxes.

When in doubt, hang up. It is tempting to get the last word, but you may end up giving scammers information they can use later. If you are unsure, ask the caller for a phone number and check it out online or call the company from which the caller claims to be affiliated.

Never give out your personal information or banking information. Caller ID spoofing makes it very easy for callers to pretend to be someone else. Be very skeptical of anyone who calls asking for money or personal information.

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