State police warn of rising phone scams

Connecticut State Police are warning residents to beware of phone scams that appear to be on the rise from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), cable company or banks.

According to a Nov. 23 press release from the Connecticut State Police Public Information Office, dispatchers and troopers have been contacted by concerned citizens from around the state regarding these unusual phone calls.

Some of the calls residents have reported receiving have involved:

  • Callers claiming to be from the IRS who tell residents that the IRS is applying for an arrest warrant for them unless they pay thousands of dollars, according to the press release.

  • Callers claiming to be from a company offering installation of free solar panels and claiming to need residents’ Social Security and bank account numbers if they agree to the installation.

  • Callers claiming to be from a cable company, offering half-price premium cable service if residents arrange for a pre-paid credit card.

  • Calls from an alleged mortgage company asking residents to refinance their mortgages and asking them to verify banking account numbers.

  • Scammers asking people to deposit a check they provide and then wire the money from that account.

Connecticut State Police remind consumers to “never, never, never provide critical private information over the phone” and “if the IRS, your bank or other agencies want to contact you, they will do so in writing.”

Bank account numbers, Social Security Numbers and other identification numbers should be kept completely private.

According to the press release, some callers have insisted that consumers make a decision and provide private information immediately.

“Resist these calls by simply hanging up,” state police say. “Citizens need to be proactive in minimizing the chance that they will be scammed.”

According to Connecticut State Police, “these types of phone scams seem to occur more frequently at this time of year when consumers are trying to save money during the busy holidays and may not completely understand what information they are giving out to complete strangers.”

Residents who receive any suspicious calls should hang up and report them to the state police or their local law enforcement agency.

To contact Connecticut State Police, call 860-685-8190.