Sheriff Johnny Bivens said a telephone scam is again making the rounds with a fraudulent caller stating they are with the Internal Revenue Service and are trying to collect a debt.
Bivens said the calls are generally made from a 505 area code but could appear to come from any number. He added the caller states a debt is owed to the IRS and if payment isn’t made immediately that legal action will be taken.
He said the IRS does not make initial contact to individuals by telephone and urges residents to never give personal or bank information to someone who has called you on the telephone. He says to also be sure of who you are dealing with if you initiate a call to a business, governmental entity or individual.
“These con artists are calling our residents here in Lewis County and demanding immediate payment,” Bivens said.
“They try to pressure people into arranging to make payment to them. Most people know it is a scam and that these unscrupulous callers are not with the Internal Revenue Service,” he said.
“They are well-rehearsed and sound legitimate,” Bivens added.
He added that some of the calls are followed up by a call from someone stating they are with law enforcement and a payment must be made to avoid arrest or prosecution.
Bivens said the IRS will not contact anyone by telephone asking for money. “They will only contact you by the US Mail if they want to get in touch with you,” he said.
Bivens urges anyone who receives a similar call to hang up on the caller and contact his office at 606-796-2912.