Thomas Perkins, Chief of Police
1 Friend Court
PO Box 536
Wenham, MA 01984
For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 5, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wenham Police Remind Residents to be Cautious with Private Information During Tax Season
WENHAM — As residents begin filling out tax forms this season, Chief Thomas Perkins and the Wenham Police Department are reminding the community to be careful with their private and financial information and to never send money to someone you do not know.
These scams generally originate from someone you don’t know who asks for payment in ways that are nearly untraceable. Other reports of tax fraud consisted of residents having fraudulent information on their tax returns or fraudulent tax returns filed under their social security numbers.
Wenham Police urge residents to complete and file their taxes as soon as possible to give potential scammers less time and opportunity to submit a refund using their information.
In other instances, scammers have been known to call residents claiming to be from the IRS or another government body. The “agent” informs victims that they did not pay, or incorrectly filed their taxes and now owe money to the IRS, which must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If victims refuse to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
“There have been numerous reports in several communities of residents receiving these types of calls, and in cases where victims have wired or transferred money they cannot get it back,” Chief Perkins said. “If you receive a call of this nature, do not give out any personal information. Hang up and call the police department.”
Additionally, residents should never give out their social security numbers, dates of birth, or any other private or financial information to someone whose identity is in question. The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail and will never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.
If there is any doubt, call the IRS official hotline at 800-829-1040 or 800-829-4059 (TDD for the hearing impaired).
Residents who are concerned about their identity or personal security should call the Wenham Police Department at 978-468-4000.