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Impersonation Phone Scams

Police Department Press Release

February 12, 2020

The Pittsburg Police Department would like to remind residents to remain vigilant against Impersonation Phone Scammers as this year’s tax season approaches.  Residents are reminded that they should be leery of anyone claiming to be a government official (i.e. an IRS official) who demands immediate payment or requests sensitive personal identifying information (such as your social security number) over the phone.  Furthermore, you should exercise extreme caution if the individual requests that you wire money, provide credit or debit card information, or purchase a prepaid debit or gift card.

During an Impersonation Phone Scam, the suspect will contact a victim by phone and claim to be an officer or agent with a legitimate government agency (i.e. the Internal Revenue Service, the Pittsburg Police Department, etc.).  The suspect tells the victim that they owe taxes, or have an existing warrant for their arrest, and if they do not pay the fine immediately the victim will be arrested.  The suspect will then request payment through either a wire transfer (i.e. MoneyGram, Western Union), by having the victim provide their debit card or credit card number over the phone, or have the victim purchase a prepaid debit or gift card and provide the number of the card over the phone.

The Pittsburg Police Department recommends you take the following steps if you suspect someone is trying to pull this scam on you.  First, request the official’s name and badge/employee number, and then ask to call the official immediately back at the agency’s published phone number.  Some of the local agencies can be contacted at these numbers:

  • Internal Revenue Service – (800) 829-1040
  • Pittsburg Police Department – (620) 231-1700
  • Crawford County Sheriff’s Office – (620) 724-8274
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (Joplin) – (417) 206-5700

If you have already received a similar phone call and believe you are a victim of fraud, please contact your local law enforcement agency and request to file a report.  Anyone having information related to these incidents, or other crimes, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at 620-231-1700, or at our tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477).  Callers may remain anonymous.