Local police warn of phone scam

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Local police are calling it the largest phone scam they've ever seen.

Patti Morrisette didn't recognize the number when her phone rang on Tuesday so it went to voicemail.

"I'm calling regarding an enforcement action executed by the U.S. Treasury,” the caller said.

What she heard was a threat.

"Ignoring this will be an intentional attempt to avoid initial appearance before a Magistrate Judge."

The man called again this morning and this time Patti picked up.

“He said that I'd like to verify your name, and your date of birth, and your social security number. This is an IRS situation,” Patti told FOX 29. “He was trying to be very intimidating. And someone might feed into that and think 'Oh my gosh' and give them a debit card number or enough information.”

Enough information to file a fraudulent income tax return for a huge refund in your name.

"The legitimate return has been rejected because there's a fictitious return that's already been filed on their behalf," police said.

Patty put out the warning  on Facebook, and in no time her friends responded; "I got the same call."  Another said, "I've gotten a few", and a third, "I've gotten this call no less than 5 times."

The scam isn't new, but with tax time approaching the scam is back And from Lower Makefield to Haverford, to Radnor Township, police are calling it the biggest phone fraud they've ever seen.

If you try to call back the number left on the message you get, " Your call cannot be completed as dialed." It's quickly disconnected. The criminals have already moved to a new number. The crime is sophisticated, but not becoming a victim is easy.

If you get a call hang up, call 911 and fill out a scam report at Treasury.gov.


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