Eugene Police has been receiving counter contacts with young adults in tears and phone calls from extremely distraught, primarily college-age individuals, who state they have received threatening calls from the IRS. The report the caller informs them there’s a warrant for their arrest and that the police have their license plate and personal information. The victims are told to pay a large amount of money to settle the tax issue, with the amounts between $1,500-$2,000. The additional element is that the victims are receiving calls from a spoof “911” location on their phone, which informs them that the police will arrest them for these warrants, and they will be in jail for months. The caller also sometimes tells the victim to send money for gift cards.
Eugene Police would like to remind the public the IRS or government agency would never call someone and demand payment immediately, do not call and advise people they have a warrant for their arrest. Eugene Police has had reports of other scams regarding IRS calls, with the scammer demanding payment over the phone or face a warrant for arrest. These scams have at times had second calls that show the caller's ID as '911' but are spoof calls.
There are so many scams out there. Many scams try to alarm you or scare you. Others just prey on your situation. A list of scams is provided on EPD’s website (http://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11128). This document covers some of the most common scams we’ve seen in our area, but new ones are popping-up all the time. It is easy to get taken in, even if you are usually suspicious of scams.
If you receive a phone call and recognize that the call is a scam, please hang up immediately and report the information to www.ic3.gov
If you are the victim of a scam and have incurred a loss, please call the EPD non-emergency at 541.682.5111.
These cases provide an opportunity for a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. Eugene Police recommend to remain careful and skeptical of callers:
•If someone asks you for your cash, credit card numbers, security log-ins, or other personal information (especially if you don’t know them well), the safest move is to refuse their request and check with the police, or find an independent way to contact a legitimate business and follow up rather than responding right away to the caller.
•Don’t give out computer or phone log-ins, personal or financial information to someone who calls you. If you are unsure, hang up and independently find the phone number of the alleged represented agency and call yourself. A law enforcement agency will not ask you for this type of information or request that money be sent by way of money order for any reason.
•Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give information or make a decision on the spot.
•If it sounds quirky or weird, it probably is.