A series of frauds and scams are being reported in the High Country from Watauga County Sheriff's Office, Beech Mountain Police and Blue Ridge Electric.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports from citizens about being contacted by telephone from individuals claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The fraudulent callers often tell citizens that they are under “Audit” by the IRS or they will be subject to legal action such as arrest or lawsuits. Citizens are then urged to quickly wire money via a PayPal account by obtaining a pre paid credit cards or money transfers.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not contact individuals via telephone and request money. Official IRS communication is always done via the US Postal Service. If you are telephoned by someone claiming to be a representative of the IRS, do not provide any personal information or submit money through PayPal or means of credit or debit cars.
Many times these callers can be very persistent and convincing even to the point of having other individuals pose as supervisors.
Anyone who suspect that they have been contacted by a phony representative of the IRS or any other suspicious calls requesting immediate payment should contact law enforcement.
Beech Mountain Police Chief Shawn Freeman says that his department has received several complaints about an individual calling people and claiming to be a representative from the Windows Corporation. The caller is advising victims that their Windows program has issues. He is telling them to log into a certain website and he can get their program up-to-date. When the victim logs in, they are able to download and access everything to include your passwords, banking information (for those that bank online) and any other personal information the user has on there.
If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be with the Windows Corporation, please do not give any personal information to these people and DO NOT log onto any websites they recommend.
NOTE: Windows will not call anyone to update their software. They have a built in update feature which will notify you that your Windows needs updating, what the updates are and allows you to choose what updates you would like to install.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Beech Mountain Police Department at (828) 387-2342.
Earlier this month Blue Ridge Electric reminded their members of continued scams in their service area. The scam involves a call asking for immediate payment to avoid disconnection and asking the member to purchase a “green dot” or prepaid, reloadable debit/card cards readily available at retail stores.
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office is also warning residents of several scams across the state. They include:
A bank in eastern North Carolina reports that some of its customers are getting fraudulent phone calls about their debit cards.
Some North Carolina consumers have received phony emails that appear to be from Duke Energy and
Scammer using Caller ID to pose as cops.