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Hamilton County officials warn of new tactics for phone scam

HAMILTON CO, Ind. (WISH) – Leaders in Hamilton County have a warning about a new twist on a familiar attempt to get your money: phone scammers are name-dropping.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department says people are using Sheriff Bowen’s name, and the names of local judges and law enforcement officers, then telling victims they’ll be arrested for missing jury duty or for not paying taxes.

Officials say the scammers also know about area business, because in at least one case, they directed a person to a specific store to buy pre-paid credit cards or to send a wire transfer.

Police say if you get a call like this, asking about personal information, or warning that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay up: hang up.

They say also be aware, caller ID isn’t always right: there’s actually software that can fake a phone number.

Contact the actual office yourself if you have a question after hanging up.

Johnson County officials told us in February, they see an average of one IRS scam a day. They had one day where five people reported the scam to them.

The IRS said in a press release that in just the last few weeks, they’ve seen scammers change tactics a bit.

They’re now calling to say they have your tax return, they just need to verify a few details on it. Nationally, the IRS says they’ve seen a 400 percent increase in “phishing schemes.”

Officials in Hamilton County say, please report this if it happens to you. In Hamilton County, call 317-773-1282.