Chief: Scams “Running Rampant” In Sheldon

Sheldon, Iowa — Spring is often the time of scams, both old and new. While we recently heard that some salespeople selling satellite TV service were thought to be scammers, and then were cleared of the allegations, other scams are alive and well and are springing out all over.

Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that there have been numerous recent attempts against Sheldon residents with two different types of scams going around right now.

Both of these scams have been around for a while. Bolkema says some people are receiving what he calls the “IRS Scam”. He says a local resident who got this call was informed that the “IRS had four serious charges against him and that, if he didn’t pay, the cops were going to come and arrest him.”

Law enforcement officers remind people that the IRS will NEVER:

· Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill
· Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say that you owe
· Require you to use a specific payment for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card
· Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
· Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying

They say don’t let someone intimidate you into sharing your personal information with them. If you have a question about your taxes, contact your tax preparer.

Bolkema says the other scam that people have been hit with recently is the grandparent scam. This is the scam in which the caller pretends to be a grandson or granddaughter of the person they are calling, and will quite often sound similar to the grandchild. The person usually says that they are in jail or were in a bad accident or both and need money. They often tell the victim not to tell their parents or others and just get them the money. Law officers advise not to listen to this and if you really think your grandchild is in trouble, try to call them or their parents and ask them. Also, these scammers usually ask for the money to be sent Western Union or for cash to be shipped overnight. The officers say both of these are HUGE red flags and when money is asked for in cash or via Western Union, it’s almost ALWAYS a scam.

Bolkema says Sheldon residents and others should beware that these scams are running rampant right now. He says if you have elderly parents, caution them against falling for any of these types of scams.

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