The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is reminding the public about several scams making their way around the community that could put innocent people--and their wallets--at risk.
According to a press release from the agency, scams involving the IRS, jury duty, and "Granny/Grandpa" all have new twists. Con-artists are contacting victims using phone calls and emails, then instructing the victims to buy or pay them using iTunes or Visa gift cards. The con-artists emphasize urgency, informing the citizens if they do not pay the money owed immediately, they will be arrested.
The sheriff's office issued the following tips to those who encounter potential scammers:
The IRS will NOT contact you via the phone or e-mail.
The IRS will not contact you about your tax return by phone or email.
The IRS will use the mailing address you place on your return.
Use direct deposit into your checking account for tax returns.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be with the IRS, hang-up and call the IRS at 1-800-366-4484 or forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jury Duty Scam:
The Sheriff’s Office wants residents to know that under NO circumstances would the OCSO ever contact you over the phone asking for money and/or threatening arrest for failure to respond to a jury duty summons.
If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild or an attorney for your grandchild, then hang up and call them or their parents directly to ensure their safety.