Amid wave of IRS scam calls, police tell Berkshire residents to hang up

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Facing a deluge of complaints about telephone scams, police are encouraging residents to take action: Hang up.

Police Departments in Pittsfield, Lee, Great Barrington, Adams and other local communities have reported numerous complaints from local home and business owners saying they are getting calls from people claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.

Police are urging recipients of such calls to hang up the phone — even if the phone number looks official — as no government agency calls regarding money owed them.

"We had a gentleman call us saying it was such a strong-arm tactic, he gave them the information," said Adams Police Chief Rick Tarsa. "When he realized what he had done, he called us."

Tarsa noted the scam victim eventually had to cancel all his credit cards.

Pittsfield police posted on its Facebook page that the IRS scammers threaten people about paying a fine or that a warrant will be issued to have the person arrested.

"They have even informed the victim of their date of birth, last four digits of their Social Security number and home address," the city police wrote.

While IRS scammers favorite target are senior citizens, Tarsa says calls to younger people are on the rise.

"We're even getting Social Security scams where the caller says they need to update the information," Tarsa said. "Social Security already has your number, so don't give it out."

Contact Dick Lindsay 413-496-6233


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