The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to area residents regarding telephone scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service agents.
Over the past week, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about suspected telephone fraud. The callers identify themselves to residents as IRS representatives, stating that the residents need to pay thousands of dollars in back taxes, or face fines and be arrested.
Some scammers have a tape of sheriff’s office radio dispatchers playing in the background and assert that officers will be serving an arrest warrant within one hour if payment is not made immediately.
“I can state with complete confidence the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office does not provide enforcement services for the IRS, nor do we solicit monies from public citizens for any means, especially by telephone,” said Sheriff Jack Kemler. “Unfortunately, there are difficulties in cracking down on fraudulent telephone solicitations because they are often generated from phone banks located out of state.”
In recent cases, affecting our area, the calls are allegedly coming from upstate New York and Western Pennsylvania area codes. The best advice is for the public to exercise common sense, Kemler said. If a local resident suspects a particular telephone call may be a scam, hang up.
Anyone who receives such a call and is uncertain of its validity should report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.