Fremont and Newark police have released this message to the public, via their Nixle pages:
Over the weekend and into the early part of this week, several Fremont residents have contacted us regarding a new telephone scam. Based on the profile of the victims, it appears that suspects may be targeting our South Asian Indian community. We ask that you please read this crime alert bulletin and share it with your friends and neighbors.
In all of our recently reported cases, suspects contact the victims via a telephone number that begins with a 202 area code. They suspects identify themselves as being with the IRS. The suspects tell the victim that they owe approximately $9,000 to the IRS and if they don’t pay the money, their Visa or passport may be revoked. In some cases, the suspects call back stating that they are with the Sheriff’s Office and that they may get arrested.
The suspects instruct the victims to obtain a money exchange service to immediately wire them money. In all of the recent reports, the money service being requested is Greencard and it can be obtained at stores like Walmart. On June 13th and July 24th we issued a similar crime alert bulletin regarding a PG&E and IRS scam that was almost identical. In those cases victims were asked to obtain a “Money Pak” to complete the transaction. The money exchange cards allow an individual to deposit money on a special credit. The suspect then asks for the code number on the back of the card when they call back.
The Fremont Police Department is not aware of any company or agency that demands payment in this manner, nor do we have the practice of dispatching officers to arrest people who have an outstanding financial debt with the IRS.
We recommend that you not send any money to companies or persons you do not know or recognize without first verifying that it’s accurate information. Should you receive such a call, you can complete a simple internet check on the phone number provided to you by the suspects, as it will usually display in your caller ID. You can also call the company directly to verify if you have an outstanding debt. Always use a verified company phone number that can be found on an official document such as a uttility bill, statement or via an official website. If you are available to screen your calls, this may help indicate to the caller that no one is home and they may stop calling. Many of these calls are placed over VOIP (voice over internet protocol) services and are difficult to trace after a crime has occurred.
Please help spread the word and prevent this from occurring to other members of our community.
Fremont Police Department (CA)
2000 Stevenson Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538