Sheriff's office warns St. Helena residents of IRS payment scam
ST. HELENA – The St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office is warning residents of an IRS scam after one man was told to pay more than $10,000.
On Monday, the sheriff's office responded to a resident receiving a call from someone who identified himself as an investigator with the IRS. The caller stated the victim needed a payment of $10,500 to prevent him from being arrested for taxes owed. The victim paid the amount and then received a second call in Walker demanding more money, double the previous amount, the sheriff's office says.
The sheriff's office says that residents, particularly the elderly, have been targeted by scammers via phone calls, mail and social media.
Chester Pritchett, Chief Deputy of the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office, says that residents are under no obligation to talk to callers claiming to be with the IRS and advises residents to never submit a payment.
Pritchett says the victim was traveling from Baton Rouge to St. Helena at the time of the call and pulled into the Walker Police Department while on the phone with the scammer. The victim was able to get a department official to speak with the scammer, but the scammer then ended the call.
The scammer knew a lot of the victim's information, including the last four digits of his social security number.
The St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office advises that the IRS does not make any phone calls to collect taxes and does not request iTunes cards or similar cards as a form of payment. If residents receive a call from someone alleging they are from the IRS and are not sure if they owe taxes, they are urged to contact the IRS directly.