SAVANNAH, Ga. – Savannah Police’s Financial Crimes division is warning the public of possible phone scams, including one where callers pose as Savannah Police officers.
Financial Crimes detectives said no one from the police department will ever call and demand payment.
According to police, in one of the scams, the caller identifies himself as a Savannah Police Department officer and says the person is under investigation, but will settle in exchange for a cash payment. The scam works similarly to the well-known “jury duty scam.” In the jury duty scam, the caller says the person missed jury duty and must make an immediate payment over the phone or be taken to jail.
Another common scam this time of year is the “IRS tax scam” where a caller claims to be an IRS agent. The “agent” will make demands for the victim to pay a bogus tax bill immediately.
The IRS never collects money over the phone or demands payment be made without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. In the event a person does owe a tax bill, the IRS will mail a bill to the taxpayer.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov or call 800-366-4484.
These scammers are typically extremely aggressive and use scare tactics to try to convince the caller to pay immediately. They also use “spoofing” technology to make calls appear to originate from a legitimate business or government agency.
SPD recommends the following practices to avoid falling victim to these crimes:
- Avoid providing funds through wire transfers or money cards.
- Never verify your personal information.
- When possible, get the caller’s name and contact information before disconnecting.
- Notify law enforcement immediately.
- React thoughtfully, not in haste.