Millinocket police investigating two more phone-scam reports

Posted May 09, 2014, at 5:19 p.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Police are investigating two more complaints of people posing as Internal Revenue Service agents as part of fraudulent telephone schemes, but this time, no money was stolen, Police Chief Janet Theriault said Friday.

The two residents who received telephone calls on May 5, including a retired town police officer, terminated the calls before any fraud could occur, Theriault said.

“The IRS doesn’t typically do business by phone. Neither individual provided information,” Theriault said Friday. “They did what we recommend that they do.”

In both cases, people identifying themselves as IRS agents said the residents had tax problems that would require payments, Theriault said. The retired officer doubted the claim immediately and hung up, while the other resident had his doubts confirmed when he called back the number and found that his phone listed a different location than the caller said he was calling from.

The cases resemble the theft of $5,000 reported by a 64-year-old town resident on April 18.

The man reported that day that he had tried to cash a check on Feb. 18 for $30,000 sent to him by the scammers and sent $5,000 to an address provided by the thieves, per their instructions. But the check for $30,000 bounced within a few days, while the victim’s check was cashed, police have said.

In that scam, police said, the victim received a telephone call from a man claiming to be an FBI agent saying that he had some money coming to him by way of a check. After that call, a woman claiming to be an attorney working for the FBI called and told him that he had a $30,000 payment coming to him from the Internal Revenue Service.

The check arrived, had the name of a legitimate bank on it, and the woman said he had to send her $5,000 to cover expenses. The victim cashed the $30,000 check and mailed a $5,000 check from his own account, police said.

Police investigating the April 5 complaints checked online and saw that the telephone number both victims reported being called from, had many fraud complaints attached to it.

Anyone with information on similar calls is asked to call police at 723-9731. All calls will be kept confidential.

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