Scam Alert!

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 3, 2015

JACKSON – The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls from citizens in reference to possible IRS scams.

According to Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith, the caller claims to work with the Internal Revenue Service and is calling to collect tax debts.

Some callers go as far as to state that the taxpayer has a warrant on them and will be arrested if they don’t remit payment.

Sheriff Smith advises citizens to be extremely careful, especially during this holiday season.

“If something sounds too good to be true,” he said, “it usually is,” he said.

Here are a few of the warning signs of telemarketing fraud:

You must act now or the offer won’t be good.

You won a free gift, vacation or prize but you will have to pay for the postage and handling or other charges.

You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have check picked up by courier.

You don’t need to check out the company with anyone or they may say you don’t need to speak with your family, accountant, lawyer, and local better business bureau or consumer protection agency.

You don’t need any written information about their company of references.

You can’t afford to miss this high profit NO-RISK offer.

You must open a special account.

Sheriff Smith offered tips to avoid telemarketing fraud:

Don’t buy from unfamiliar company;

Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer of charity;

Always check with unfamiliar companies;

Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address and mailing and business license number;

Don’t pay in advance for any services;

Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money;

Don’t pay for a free prize;

Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly;

Never send money or give out credit card information, bank account numbers, or social security numbers;

Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties; and

If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover losses for a fee in advance.

Sheriff Smith said if you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal enforcement agencies immediately. The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office can be reached by calling 252-524-2611.