Lake Tahoe law enforcement: Don’t fall for scams this holiday season
Local law enforcement is warning the public not to fall for several scams making the rounds this holiday season.
This past week, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department said it had received multiple reports of a phone scam involving a caller identifying as an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) employee.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office also reported receiving complaints from members of the community who received a phone call from somebody claiming to be with the sheriff’s office. The callers states they have a warrant for the person’s arrest and then asks for personal information — a practice the sheriff’s office does not use.
“We assure you, if you have a warrant for your arrest, we already have that information,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “Report suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office or local authorities.”
The sheriff’s office also said it’s noticing an increase in thefts of packages from people’s porches.
Regarding the scam reported by SLTPD, the phony IRS agent informs the victim they have a warrant for their arrest or owe taxes. The issue must be rectified by paying with a pre-paid debit card, credit cards or wire transfer — a sure sign of a scam, as the IRS does not ask for payment using those methods, SLTPD said.
The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license. When it comes to unpaid taxes, the IRS typically makes first contact via mail, not over the phone.
The callers who commit this fraud often:
Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
Make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling.
Send bogus IRS emails to support their scam.
Call multiple times claiming to be the police or DMV and caller ID again supports their claim.