Telephone Scams in Our Area

You’re a mean one...

Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr., Town of Carmel Police Department Chief Michael Cazzari and Kent Police Department Chief Kevin Owens jointly, and on behalf of all Law Enforcement officials in Putnam County, wish a healthy and happy holiday season for all. However, they remind citizens that, unfortunately, criminals are using the generosity and joyfulness of the holiday season as a time to victimize Putnam County residents, especially the elderly.

Currently, law enforcement is investigating a variety of telephone scams in our area; notably unsolicited telephone callers are impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees demanding cash payments for unpaid taxes via prepaid debit cards, money orders, or wire transfers from their banks. Another prevalent scam is where the caller alleges to be calling on behalf of someone, usually a grandchild or other relative, who is allegedly in danger or trouble; this scam involves an immediate request for cash, to pay bail, medical bills or a fine.

It is important to remain calm when receiving these types of calls, you need to pause; the IRS will generally contact you by mail, not over the telephone, and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the telephone. The IRS suggests if you believe that you owe Federal taxes you can reach the IRS at 800-829-1040.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of a relative in distress, tell the caller you must consult another family member first, and hang up. Don’t do anything without checking directly with that relative, or a relative close to them that might know where they are to see if they really are in trouble. If the emergency turns out to be real, you or another family member can still respond.

If you suspect any such a fraud you can contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department at (845)225-4300 or your local Police Department.

Article | by Dr. Radut