The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has received information from some residents that they have received phone calls from individuals that are apparent scams. The following are two of the most common scams being used right now and some tips to help everyone avoid becoming a victim.
The IRS scam:
In this scam, the victim is contacted by an individual claiming they work for the IRS. That person tells them they owe money to the IRS and will need to pay it immediately or criminal action will be taken. They then tell the victim to either wire money using Western Union or Money Gram, send money through the mail, deposit money into an account or place money on a pre-paid card and provide the card number to the caller. In all cases, after sending this money, the scammer will contact with victim again asking for more money. This will continue until the victim refuses to send more money. The IRS will not normally contact you by phone. They will do so through mail. They will never have an individual use any of the above methods to pay them. They also will never threaten criminal action if payment is not made immediately.
Family member needs bail money:
In this scam the victim is contacted by telephone and advised a loved one has been arrested. The scammer often poses either as that loved one or a law enforcement official having contact with the loved one. The scammer will explain the loved one was arrested. They then say they need money for bail. The scammer will have the money wired to them. In this case it is best to make sure your loved one is in fact at the place the scammer claims. Make contact with other family members and see if anyone knows where said loved one is. Also, ask for the specific name of the jail and try to contact the jail after disconnecting with the caller. Finally, a jail will not have a family member wire bail money through Money Gram or Western Union. This is a sure sign it is a scam.
The Sheriff's Office, Police Department and IRS will not call and collect money over the phone. If they ask you for account information or to send money it is a scam. If you have questions please call the Marion County Sheriff's Office 740-382-8244 or the Marion City Police Department 740-387-2525 before sending any money.