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Sun, Oct. 20

Scam by fake IRS agents resurfaces, Prescott Valley Police warn

The Prescott Valley Police Department has recently received numerous reports of suspects calling Prescott Valley citizens and posing as agents of either the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration.

These calls may initially appear legitimate, a news release states. The suspect provides a name as well as an ID number and a badge number. They will tell the victim that there is a warrant out for his arrest for some alleged offense like drug trafficking or that his family member or his vehicle has been involved in an out of state incident where blood and drugs were found.

The suspect will then ask for personal information to “verify” the victim’s identity or account information to pay for fees. Please remember that these government agencies will never call you, police stated. They always conduct business by mail.

These calls can be terrifying, but with a little knowledge, you can protect yourself and your family from being victimized, police warned.

To protect yourself from scammers, it is important to remember the following:

Caller ID is easily spoofed. Scammers are pros at tricking Caller ID systems into showing the caller information they want it to show. Just because the Caller ID says “National Consumers League” or the “IRS,” does not guarantee that the person on the other end is affiliated with that organization.

When in doubt, ask. If you are not sure if the caller or sender was real, look up the phone number for the individual or agency in your phonebook or on the agency’s or company’s official website. Call that number yourself and check to see if what you were told by the caller is accurate.

Be careful of email senders who appear to be legit. Scammers can spoof the “from” address of emails and have been known to run imposter scams over email. If you receive an email from someone demanding money right away, it’s probably a scam. Instead of replying, simply delete the email. Do not click on any links or attachments—they could contain malware that will infect your computer and steal your personal information.

If asked for payment with a wire transfer, cash-reload card, or gift card—it’s a scam. These are all ways that scammers love to be paid because it is very difficult to track. No reputable business will want to be paid with gift cards.

Police officers would prefer to investigate the reported suspicious activities than respond to a report that you have been defrauded. Protection from criminal activity is as much the responsibility of citizens as it is the Police Department. Please report any unusual activity or suspicious phone calls to police to prevent future fraudulent activities.

Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at 928-772-9267 for non-emergencies, 911 for emergencies.

Information provided by Prescott Valley Police Department.

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