Fremont police are advising residents to be wary of scammers claiming to be collecting money for the IRS.
Those primarily being targeted are members of the South Asian Indian community, according to police.According to Fremont police, multiple victims have reported the scam over the past week.
In each case, suspects contact victims over the phone with a 202 area code. The suspects say they are with the IRS and tell the victim that they owe $9,000. The suspects tell the victims that if they don’t pay, their visa or passport will be revoked.
In some cases, the suspects have followed up with phone calls, this time claiming to be from the sheriff’s office and advising victims that they may be arrested.
Police said the suspects then instruct victims to wire money immediately. In all of the recent cases, the callers instruct victims to get a GreenDot MoneyPak — a card that allows customer to reload prepaid cards, add money to PayPal accounts and make payments to companies without using a bank account — which can be found at stores like Walmart and 7-Eleven. The callers ask for the code number on the back of the GreenDot card when they call back.
Similar scams were reported in June and July when suspects claiming to be from PG&E targeted local residents and businesses, including Country Way in Fremont.
Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the department is not aware of any companies or agencies that demand payment in this manner, nor does the Fremont Police Department dispatch officers to arrest people with outstanding financial debts with the IRS.
Fremont police advise residents to verify information before sending any money to companies or individuals. If you receive calls requesting money, police advise looking up the number on an internet search and calling the company directly to confirm that you have an outstanding debt. Verified company phone numbers can be found on official documents such as utility bills, statements and official websites.
If you have been a victim of this or similar scams, or have any information regarding these crimes, contact Fremont Police at 510-790-6900. Anonymous tips may also be left at www.fremontpolice.org/tip or by texting TIP FREMONTPD to 888777 with your message.