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ECSO warns of tax season scam

Income tax season in full swing, and so are attempts to use it as a front for scams.

A current telephone scam uses the ruse of IRS and tax refunds as a way to gain people’s account and personal information and defraud them out of their money.

The scam is occurring “all over” including some reports of it locally, according to Sgt. Don White, chief investigator for the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

“It happens every tax season,” White said. “We have had a few here and we’re just trying to get ahead of it.”

A call is placed, and a person or machine states there is problem with the individual’s tax refund. The recipient of the call is given a number to call in order to clear up the issue.

A common number being used is (607) 724-9716, but the number is subject to change, White said. Once the person calls the number back, they are asked to pay a fine or provide personal information in order to receive their tax refund or avoid jail time.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDufffie reminds the public that the IRS will not solicit personal information over the phone.

“Please be wary of any phone calls that attempt to gain personal or account information over the phone,” White said. “If there are any questions about these types of scams, please contact your local law enforcement agency.”