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Some Nerve: Con Artists Becoming Bolder, More Sophisticated

A Canton woman received a call from a man claiming to be an IRS agent. If she didn’t pay a delinquent tax bill, the phony tax man claimed, Deputy Chief Police Scott Hilden would be making a call.

Canton police are warning residents to beware of con artists who claim to be collecting delinquent taxes for the IRS or other past-due bills as scammers become more sophisticated and tech-savvy. (Patch file photo)
Canton police are warning residents to beware of con artists who claim to be collecting delinquent taxes for the IRS or other past-due bills as scammers become more sophisticated and tech-savvy. (Patch file photo)

On his oath to serve and protect, Canton Deputy Chief Police Scott Hilden says he’s not planning to arrest a 45-year-old Canton woman for failure to pay more than $2,800 in delinquent income taxes she supposedly owes.

But he wouldn’t mind arresting the man who said he would. The deputy chief is stunned that scammers are using local officers’ names in their attempts to swindle local residents, The Observer & Eccentric reports.

A man posing as an Internal Revenue Service made the phony call was a sophisticated enough con artist and hacker to make the woman’s caller ID read as if she was getting a call from the Canton Public Safety Department.

The woman didn’t buy the caller’s claim and called police, then received a second call from a man who claimed to be Hilden. She still didn’t bite.

Hilden told the Observer & Eccentric this is the first time he’s heard of a scammer using a local police officer’s name or hacking into databases to make tt appear calls came from the police department.

The police department is warning residents to be suspicious of similar call, or any that ask for credit card information, involve prepaid debit cards or other financial information. If they receive them, they’re asked to call (734) 394-5400.

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