Another Rash of Scams Reported In The Area

As the holiday season continues, there seems to be even more scams reported throughout the area.

Last week, the Fentress Co. Sheriff’s Department and the Jamestown City Police Department jointly reported that someone has been calling local residents, telling them that they have won money from Wal-Mart for a car, and asking them for banking information.

Several area residents, particularly in the Cookeville area, have received telephone calls from persons identifying themselves as representatives of the IRS,  The calls follow a pattern that’s typical of such telephone scams — the caller notifies their target that they owe money, demand immediate payment or threaten the target with possible jail time.

This scam is so prevalent across the country, according to reports on the IRS website, the agency has deemed it one of the “dirty dozen” tax scams.

In a statement on the website, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen issued a warning about the scam to consumers.

“If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don’t pay immediately, it’s a scam artist calling. The first IRS contact with taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business,” Koskinen said.

Scammers, in a practice called spoofing, are able to alter caller ID numbers to impersonate the IRS calling and to disguise the actual location from which the phone call originates, which is often in another country, law enforcement authorities say.

Numerous programs and applications exist that allow someone to place a telephone call while causing a totally unrelated number to appear in caller ID, making the tracing of the true number from which the call was made nearly impossible.

Area officials offers several tips of advice to help residents here avoid such scams:

• First of all –don’t answer telephone calls from unfamiliar numbers. If it’s truly important or is a legitimate business call, the caller will leave a message or find another way to make contact,

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.