Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

People warned of scams in area


January 25, 2017

Scammers appear again to be trying to persuade people to give them money, and local residents are warned if something seems too good to be true — or someone is threatening them over the phone with some kind of legal action — they probably should assume the worst.

“We get several (kinds of) scams,” Havre Police Dispatcher Larry Virts said this morning. “They just change their tactics.”

Virts said he had not yet been informed of one scam local resident Linda Gomke reported to the police, but he knew of several others circulating in the area.

“We haven’t heard of the IRS scam yet,” he said, but added that with tax season starting soon it probably will turn up once again.

Gomke said she received a call saying she owed a large amount of money on a credit card debt, and a cashiers check from a major bank was prepared to pay for the bill. She said she was told all she had to do was send $200 for processing fees.

Gomke said she knew it was a scam and refused to cooperate with the caller and called the police.

Virts said a recurring scam hitting the area now is someone calling to say a grandchild is in jail and needs bail money.

In that scam, the caller often claims to be the grandchild and tricks the victim into saying a name the caller then uses. They often claim to be in another country, such as in Canada.

The Internal Revenue Service scam has a caller claiming to be a representative of the IRS trying to collect past due taxes, and threatening the victim with legal action including arrest and jail.

“The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information,” the service says on its website.

“In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Being able to recognize these tell-tale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.”

People who believe they have received a scam call are urged to report it to the Federal Trade Commission. FTC has a page on its website about scams including a link to report scams at consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams or calling 1-877-FTC-HELP, 1-877-382-4357.

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