Wilton residents lose $2,775 in phone scams

Two Wilton residents fell victim to similar phone scams within the last week, losing a total of $2,775 as a result.

According to Wilton police, the first victim was a resident of Olmstead Hill Road who received a call Oct. 14 from someone claiming to be from an agency called the “Federal Warrants Division,” who told her she had missed jury duty and must pay a fine. The “Federal Warrants Division” does not exist.

The caller also said a local warrant would be issued for her arrest if she did not pay the $500 fine.

She placed $500 on a MoneyPak card and gave the serial number to the man on the phone before realizing she had been the victim of a scam.

Once someone receives the serial number of a MoneyPak card, they can withdraw the money anonymously.

An Internet search found the name the caller provided, along with the phone number. He is the subject of numerous online scam complaints, police said.

Second victim

The second victim is a resident of Danbury Road who received a phone call on Monday, Oct. 20, from someone claiming to represent the IRS. The caller said the resident had filed his taxes improperly, and unless money was sent a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

As in the first instance, the resident was told to put an amount of money on a Green Dot MoneyPak card and provide the man on the phone with the serial number of the card.

While in the process of doing this, the man received a “spoof” phone call that appeared to be from a number representing the Wilton Police Department stating a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Only after sending $2,275 to the unknown fake IRS agent, did the man realize he may have been the victim of a scam.

Neither the IRS nor any agency which issues warrants would ever require a resident to send money via a MoneyPak card, information from the IRS website states.

We do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in 2013.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be the IRS, the government service says you can take the following steps:

• Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 before making any payment, even if you owe back taxes.

• If you know you owe no back taxes, report the call to 1-800-366-4484.