Planet Princeton

Mercer County Sheriff Warns Residents About Telephone Scams

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.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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