OSCODA – Oscoda Township Police Department (OTPD) Sgt. Curtis Hall recently issued a fraud information bulletin. This came after he received a report from the manager of an Oscoda business, regarding a version of an IRS Call Scam.
The business received a telephone call that was answered by the manager, who was told that the call was from the Department of Treasury in Washington.
The manager was also told that the business had accepted, distributed and deposited counterfeit currency which would result in an audit in the morning. The caller instructed the individual to bundle $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills from the safe, and to purchase MoneyPak cards with the money.
According to the OTPD, family and friends suspicious of the transaction intervened before the purchase was made.
The perpetrator’s efforts to appear authentic included providing a name and badge number, as well as an actual telephone number for the U.S. Treasury Department, and having the victim Google the number to confirm it. The victim’s Caller ID displayed this number.
Hall notes that the perpetrator kept the victim on the phone for the entirety of the scam, and persuaded the victim to provide a cell phone number to stay connected while the MoneyPak card was purchased. The perpetrator further threatened arrest if the victim didn’t cooperate.
Police advise that had those suspicious of the transaction not intervened, the perpetrator would have likely asked for pictures of the cards or that information from the cards be sent, and the funds would be lost.
The OTPD is asking people to be alert to possible fraudulent activity. Perpetrators of fraud often portray themselves as authorities, and create elaborate stories in order to convince or coerce their targets into being helpful.
“Do not confirm information provided to you by the perpetrators of fraud, and do not volunteer information to the perpetrators of fraud,” Hall states. “If you become suspicious that anyone on the telephone who has identified themselves as an ‘authority’ may be a perpetrator of fraud, disconnect with them.”
Using a publicly listed telephone number, he continued, attempt to contact the department or agency they identify with to verify the legitimacy of the call.