Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Department Warns Residents About Telephone Scam Involving Bogus Lawsuit
Audio Recording Attached
BEDFORD — Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department are warning residents about the threat posed by a telephone scam involving a fake lawsuit and a demand for money.
This latest round of telephone scams appears to be connected to the more well-known “IRS Scam,” in which a caller tells the resident or business owner that they owe the IRS for back taxes. In the lawsuit scam, however, a computerized voice tells whomever answers the phone that a lawsuit has been filed against them and that they should call back immediately.
“We urge the public to continue to be wary when the phone rings,” Chief Bongiorno said. “And most importantly, we urge everyone not to give a wire transfer, money orders, cash, or pre-paid debit cards to a stranger claiming to be a lawyer or a government agent. When you receive these types of calls, there is no lawsuit, and you owe no taxes. These people are simply trying to rob you.”
What all of these scams have in common is more important: The caller demands money. The scammer demands money immediately and will try to trick you into paying by an untraceable and unrecoverable method like a money order or a pre-paid debit card. If you send money to a stranger, demanding to be paid by money order or pre-paid debit card, you will lose this money forever, and it most likely cannot be recovered, even by law enforcement.
In the scenarios, the scammer usually claims to be an attorney or an agent of the Internal Revenue Service or another government agency. They inform the victim or a pending lawsuit or unpaid taxes. The victim is told they can pay a fee or that they owe money, and it must be paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with the fake lawsuit or, in the IRS scam scenario, with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Residents are reminded that a legitimate law firm will never use this kind of tactic. Also, the IRS will always send taxpayers several written notifications of any taxes due, via the U.S. Postal Service. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information on IRS Scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.