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Fraud cases jump during tax season

Sheriff Greg Champagne would like to remind the community that tax season is currently upon us, and criminals looking to fraud people will begin to increase.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has already received its first Tax Season related complaint. The caller contacted a citizen of St. Charles Parish, claiming to be working for the IRS and wished to alert the citizen of fraud concerning their taxes.

The caller went on to inform the citizen that the citizen had committed a crime. The caller provided a number for the citizen to call “immediately” to correct the matter and avoid criminal prosecution.

Luckily the citizen was aware of ongoing scams similar to this and did not fall victim.

Please remember, the IRS will not contact you and demand any type of immediate payment over the phone to avoid being arrested. This scam is a continuous cause of many citizens losing their hard earned money, and very rarely are the funds ever returned to the victim.

Also remember, this scam has many different styles, ranging from the caller claiming to be a representative of a home utility service threatening to disconnect service, a tax or debt collector trying to correct your error or a criminal investigator claiming to remove a warrant if funds are paid.

If you receive a telephone call from anyone asking for money, and you cannot, with 100 percent certainty confirm that the caller is someone you know, DO NOT release your banking information, personal information or any type of payment through debit, credit, check, or gift card over the phone.

Get as much information from the caller as possible, such as a return call number, a name, a company or organization name that they represent, and an address, then contact the sheriff’s office immediately!

— Submitted by Corporal James Grimaldi, public Information/crime prevention