Sheriff warns residents of debt scams targeting elderly residents | Paterson Times

Sheriff warns residents of debt scams targeting elderly residents


Multiple scams are being run in northern New Jersey targeting unsuspecting residents with threats of imprisonment if they fail to pay debts owed to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) by providing the scammers with pre-paid credit card numbers, warned Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik.

“Several scams are being conducted to get citizens to put money on reusable cards as payment for official debt collection,” Berdnik said. “Unfortunately, the criminals behind these scams are using official documents and spoofing phone numbers to give the impression of legitimacy.”

The scammers contact victims through phone numbers that appear legitimate. “The scammers use computer enhancements to give the impression that they were calling from a legitimate government entity,” Berdnik said.

The victims are then informed that they have unpaid debt in the form of unpaid taxes to the IRS or bail payment, Berdnik said.

When a victim is hesitant the scam artists use intimidation tactics and threat of arrest to force the victim into loading money or the debt that they supposedly owe into pre-paid cash card, Green Dot card.

The scammer then demands the victim provide the card’s number over the phone. “These scams focus on our older residents and scare law abiding individuals into thinking that they are in violation of law,” Berdnik said.

“I urge all residents to be aware of these scams and not participate in them,” Berdnik said. The sheriff is asking anyone who has been the victim or has received such calls to report the suspects by calling 973-389-5900.