Crime

This telephone call could cost you a lot of money

Telephone scams involving fake IRS agents and Microsoft computers checks are making the rounds, prompting the Moss Point Police Department to warn residents that they should hang up and report the calls to law enforcement.

“One of the scams caused significant monetary losses,” Cmdr. Stacey Deans said in a news release. He said reports about the calls started Sept. 15 and are still coming in.

The first scam involves calls purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service. The caller says the individual being contacted owes back taxes and threatens an arrest unless payments are made. The callers frequently have thick accents. Caller ID often shows the call is from another state.

“A computer device can be purchased to display any phone number or name regardless of the originating call location,” the news release says. “The IRS does not call and threaten residents with arrest on back tax cases. This is a scam; hang up phone and report the incident to the police.”

In a second scam, the caller warns of a Microsoft computer issue or virus, requesting access to the computer of the resident contacted.

Deans warns: “Once the caller has access to your computer, they can download your computer hard drive files, passwords, bank account information, or add a virus or keystroke registry that will send the caller a detailed report of your computer activity including websites, user/password information.”

He said Microsoft does not monitor computers and again advises residents to hang up on these callers and report the calls to police.

Anyone with information about the scams can contact Deans at 228-474-4103.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99

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