SWAT (free clip art)

SWAT (free clip art)

Press release from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office:

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of IRS scam operations, and Sheriff Scott Jenkins is warning residents that there is a new element to the scam: “swatting.”

The crime of “swatting” is making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team, and CCSO had an incident of it this weekend, when deputies responded to an unfounded report of a person with a gun in the 14600 block of Carrico Mills Road at about 6 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2015. When deputies arrived, they found that the resident did not call 911, but they had received an IRS scam call in which the caller told them that they owed thousands of dollars to be brought immediately to a Washington, DC address or they would be arrested. When the victim told the caller they would borrow the money from their Police Officer friend, the call disconnected, and the caller sought revenge by reporting a person with a gun at the victim’s residence.

Residents are encouraged to report IRS scam calls to Culpeper dispatch (540.727.7900) so that dispatchers can give the additional information to responding deputies if they receive a subsequent “swatting” call.

As a reminder, the IRS reports that they will NEVER:
– call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency 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 you owe,
– require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card,
– ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or
– threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Caller ID “spoofing,” which allows the caller to adopt a fake phone number and/or name, may be another element of the operation, so residents should not automatically assume the information displayed in their caller ID accurately identifies the caller.