The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning about a phone scam targeting local consumers stating there are charges being filed against clients by the US Treasurer's office.

The Better Business Bureau began receiving phone calls on Morning from local consumers saying they had a phone message from "David White" expressing they have charges being filed against them from the United States Treasury office and they need to contact Mr. White immediately or they will be arrested. The Better Business Bureau received over 40 calls in one day alone.

The consumers that have called Mr. White back were told this was an urgent matter and they owned money to the US Treasury that needed to be paid immediately. When the callers question Mr. White or refuse to cooperate, it has been reported that he becomes threatening and states he will send the police officers to arrest them and send to jail.

"These phone calls are very similar to the Internal Revenue Service scam that has been circulating for 5 years," warns Frank Cilona, President of the Better Business Bureau. "These defrauders are trying to scare customers into paying them money they do not owe, by preying on fear".

Some other characteristics of this scam:

  • Consumers now report the scammer is also using the name Steve Martin.
  • Caller has a heavy foreign accent.
  • When consumers ask to speak to a manager, the scammer simply puts them on hold and then returns to the line claiming to be a manager.
  • In some calls, the clients are told they owe back taxes and some calls have claimed to be from Legal Affairs.
  • Scammers are calling from different phone numbers, however the number to call back have been the same or similar to 216-342-6125, 469-729-4883 and 206-466-4847.

The BBB recommends the following if you receive a similar type call:

  • Do not give them any personal information or provide payment over the phone.
  • If you've been targeted by this scam you should contact the FTC and report the scam using BBB's Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker/canton and also use their Complaint Assistance at FTC.gov.
  • Contact the Treasury's Office of Inspector General at www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/ig/Pages/OigOnlineHotlineForm.aspx to report a fraud scam utilizing Treasury Bureaus, seals and/or employees.
  • If you are not sure if the call is legitimate or not, please contact the Better Business Bureau at 800-362-0494.

Source: http://www.bbb.org/canton/news-events/news-releases/2015/10/us-treasury-phone-scam/