Law Enforcement officials in Putnam County are investigating a variety of telephone scams, most involving people impersonating Internal Revenue Service employees demanding cash payments for unpaid taxes via prepaid debit cards, money orders, or wire transfers from their banks.
Another prevalent scam is where the caller alleges to be phoning on behalf of a grandchild or other relative, who is allegedly in danger or trouble; this scam involves an immediate request for cash, to pay bail, medical bills or a fine.
Anyone who suspects such a fraud can contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department or the local Police Department.
The Sheriff's Office says the IRS will generally contact you by mail, not over the telephone, and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or wire a transfer. The IRS suggests if you believe that you owe Federal taxes you can reach the IRS at 800-829-1040.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of a relative in distress, tell the caller you must consult another family member first, and hang up. Police say you shouldn't do anything without checking directly with that relative, or a relative close to them that might know where they are to see if they really are in trouble. If the emergency turns out to be real, you or another family member can still respond.