HOLLISTER — Police would like to caution the public of a phone scam currently circulating through the city in which callers are posing as IRS officials or employees of the Police Department.
On September 29th, a local woman called police to report a suspected ongoing phone scam. She claimed that she’d gotten a phone call a week prior from someone claiming to be an employee of the IRS — though the caller ID showed the individual was calling from Florida. She was told that she owed money to the government and that legal action was to be taken.
When the woman informed the caller that she’d be having her accountant and lawyer follow up with the IRS, the person hung up.
Shortly thereafter, she received a call from a man who identified himself as an employee of the Hollister Police Department. He told her that, because she owed the government money, her assets were to be frozen. She was also asked for her location. The caller ID showed that the call was coming from the department’s business number, so she hung up and called the dispatch center.
The scam is on the rise in Hollister. Police would like to caution the public that there are programs and applications that can allow fraudulent callers to change the number that appears on a potential victim’s caller ID, making it easier for complete strangers to pose as public officials.