‘Hang up the phone’ York County deputies warn of threatening calls from people claiming to be the IRS

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 23:18:33-04

YORK Co., Va. - Officials with the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office say citizens are being targeted by threatening calls.

The caller claims they're from the IRS and is ordering people to pay up or face arrest.

The problem? They're not from the IRS, and the caller is trying to take your money, deputies say.

“[It] is completely false. First of all, the IRS is not going to call you and tell you to send them money," said Deputy Shawn Kekoa-Dearhart with YPSO.

And although officials are adamant about warning the public about these fake calls, unfortunately many people fall for them and lose hundreds to thousands of dollars in the process.

The big problem in this is once you give up your money, deputies say it’s hard to get it back.

“Once they have your money, most of the time they are not even in the same state. So, now you’re talking about across state lines, which involves the federal agencies," said Deputy Kekoa-Dearhart.

Officials say unfortunately, senior citizens are targeted when it comes to these phone scams because the younger generation rarely answers telephone numbers they don’t recognize.

“Older individuals still have that sense of community and wanting to help. So, they’ll pick up their phone. So, that’s why we beg you, if you don’t recognize the phone number, if they’re making any kind of threatening comments to you telling you, 'you need to pay money,' absolutely hang up the phone," Deputy Kekoa-Dearhart said.

If you’re really torn or in doubt of what to do, officials say you can always call your local law enforcement so they can look up the number for you to see if it’s actually valid.

So, in cases like these this cliché holds strong: It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.