Rise In Scams Affecting BH Residents
Posted by LaDale Anderson on May 22, 2014 - 7:29:32 AM
BEVERLY HILLS—The Beverly Hills Police Department is warning residents about a spike in scams involving the IRS and Southern California Edison (SCE). According to a press release from the BHPD on May 20, residents have been receiving calls from individuals indentifying themselves as agents or representatives with the IRS or SCE.
During the calls, the agents or representatives as they identify themselves, inform the resident that they are delinquent on paying a bill or that they owe back taxes. The resident is informed to purchase prepaid debit cards, usually Green Dot/Monterey Park cards.
The suspects will stay on the phone with the resident while they purchase the card(s) and would verbally ask the resident to provide the card numbers over the phone. They are able to divulge specific details about the resident that only a legitimate source would be aware of. The alleged agents also warn residents that a warrant would be issued for their arrest.
Once the resident gives the information over the phone, the suspect/alleged agent uploads the card number to another untraceable debit type card, outside of the
United States or
California and the funds are gone.
Because of the scam, the resident’s bank will not reimburse funds for the loss. No legitimate government agency, public utility, or company will request payment for bills via the use of prepaid cards purchased from a pharmacy or grocery store like CVS or Rite Aid, for example.
The BHPD is informing residents that if they do receive such a call, they should contact the true entity by researching the number either on the Internet or contact a trusted resource for assistance. “IT IS ADVISED THAT A RESIDENT NEVER CALL THE NUMBER A SUSPECT PROVIDES TO VERIFY LEGITIMACY,” the release states. Some residents have begun reporting that some alleged agents have visited their homes and made similar claims, but they are willing to accept cash in person.
The police are advising residents to not allow the person into their homes, but to get a good description of the person and contact the BHPD via 911 immediately to have officers dispatched to the residence. Additional contacts available to resident about the scam include:
Internal Revenue Service 1-800-908-4490
Equifax – www.equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
Experian – www.experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion – www.transunion.com, 1-800-680-7289
Federal Trade Commission 1-877-438-4338