WEST SHORE BLUES: The Best of the Beats

Caution! IRS Scammers Flood Local Phone Lines

Police Lights-1Bay and Westlake Police report that a flood of scam IRS and/or Treasury Dept. phone calls have been received by area residents.

Bay Village Police received over 100 calls from Bay Village residents reporting calls from scammers posing at IRS or Treasury Department officials on Oct. 8.

Westlake Police reported another 20 complaints Friday morning.

Both Westlake and Bay Police remind taxpayers to beware of phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or U.S. Treasury Department in an effort to defraud them.

The IRS or U.S. Treasury Department will not contact people by phone when inquiring about legitimate unpaid taxes. Also, the IRS or U.S. Treasury Department won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. They will also not ask for a credit card number over the phone.

Bay Police have seen a huge rise in residents reporting scammers making unsolicited calls and fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials or U.S. Treasury officials. The scammers demand that they send them money or payments for back-taxes or current owed taxes via prepaid debit cards, wire transfers or checks.

Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner says the best way to handle these calls is to “hang up on them.”

The callers who commit this fraud often: Utilize an automated robocall machine, Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers, May know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number, Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling, Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam, Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:

If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

If you don’t owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.treasury.gov/tigta or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission atwww.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

Westlake Police Bust Credit Card Theft Operation

Westlake Police busted a credit card theft operation last week, resulting in the arrests of seven Floridians who were staying at the Sperry Road motel.

Events unfolded on Sept. 30, thanks to alert police work. A patrol officer noted drug paraphernalia left in and around one of their rental cars at the motel.

The car was later stopped after the operator committed a traffic offense, report Police.

Stolen IDs, checkbooks, and credit cards that were taken in thefts in Richfield, Bedford Hts., and Medina County were located.  Police also confiscated a ‘punch’ tool used to break car windows.

Other IDs, checkbooks, and credit cards belonging to persons from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and South Dakota were also recovered from the group’s 3 rental vehicles.

All were transported to the Cuyahoga County Jail on Oct. 6 after waiving preliminary hearings on felony charges.

Drunk Driver Leaves Baby at Home Alone

A Fairview Park Police officer on patrol observed a vehicle travelling at 51 mph in a 25 mph zone on Lorain Rd near W. 214 on Oct. 9. He pulled the vehicle over and while speaking to the driver, he observed signs of intoxication. The 40 year old male was given sobriety tests and he failed all of them. He was placed under arrest for OVI. He then stated that his 3 year old son was home alone in the apartment. Officers went to the residence and found a 3 year old male home alone, asleep, in the apartment. The child’s mother was contacted and took custody of the child. The male, who refused the breath test, was placed under a license suspension for refusing the test and is to be charged with OVI, Speed and Child endangering.

Ice Cream Tips Stolen

Police were called to Menchies at Westgate on a reported theft. An employee related that while in the back room, a male stole approximately $70 in tip money from the jar on the counter. A customer alerted her to the theft when she returned to the counter. Officer’s will be reviewing video surveillance to try and ID the suspect.

Ring Missing After Garage Sale Bathroom Break

A ring went missing after an Elmwood Road resident in Bay Village allowed a visitor to her garage sale in the house to use the bathroom.

On 10/06/2015, at 1402 hrs, the resident reported to police that she had a garage/moving sale several weeks ago.  During the sale she allowed a patron to go into her house to use the bathroom.  After the sale was over the resident realized that her wedding ring was missing.  Police are investigating.

Asleep at the Wheel

On 10/10/2015, at 0301 hrs, a BVPD officer located a vehicle that was parked in the front yard of a house in the 30000 block of Ednil.  The officer located a female sleeping behind the wheel.  After speaking with the female, the officer suspected the operator of the vehicle had been drinking.  Field sobriety test were administered, and as a result, the 40 yoa Columbus resident was arrested for OVI.  She will face charges at RRMC.

On 10/09/2015, at 0027 hrs, a BVPD officer stopped a vehicle on Lake Rd. near Cahoon for several traffic violations.  After speaking with the driver, the officer suspected the driver had been drinking.  Field sobriety test were administered, and as a result the driver was arrested for OVI.  The 65 yoa Cleveland resident will face charges at RRMC.

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