Many have heard about this scam before, now hear it from the IRS directly. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Prescott Police Department, Yavapai-Prescott Tribal Police, and Prescott Valley Police Department are teaming up to fight this scam! Mr. Brian Wilson from the IRS Criminal Investigations Division will talk about the various IRS scams and other frauds affecting our communities and what to do about Identity theft. Of course, this important educational opportunity is FREE TO THE PUBLIC.
We also encourage local businesses that sell gift cards and/or conduct wire transfers to consider sending employees to understand how they can help stop scams like this in their tracks. We have had recent incidents where alert clerks suggested to senior aged customers that purchasing a large amount of gift cards may be part of a fraud scheme. When the customer offered to share the reason for the purchase, the scam was verified and in many cases, prevented the loss of thousands of dollars.
Meetings will take place at 2 locations on Tuesday, May 24th
10:00 am, Prescott Police Department, 222 S. Marina Street, Prescott, and at
1:00 pm, Prescott Valley Public Library Crystal Room, 7401 E. Civic Circle, Prescott Valley.
An ongoing problem -
This scam and others similar in nature, continue to remain a serious problem throughout Yavapai County. Late last month, a 60-year-old Prescott Valley man who is also a disabled veteran, lost nearly $20,000 in the scam. The victim had received a phone call from man identifying himself as an IRS agent demanding back payment on federal taxes by way of gift cards. A short time later, the victim received another call from a ‘local police department’ official notifying him officers would be on the way to arrest him if he did not comply. Once the cards were purchased, identifying numbers were shared with the scammers.
When the deputy arrived at the victim’s home, he saw the victim had purchased about 40 Apple ITunes gift cards at various businesses around Prescott Valley, most with a $500 value. On behalf of the victim, the deputy immediately contacted a representative in the Apple Fraud Department and requested the card accounts be frozen. Apple has opened an investigation but as of now, the victim has sustained this loss.
Those who care for seniors and other individuals vulnerable to such schemes are encouraged to attend so the information and literature can be shared with others.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov