Some area residents may be receiving calls from a phone number in Florida telling them to call back about an “enforcement action executed by U.S. Treasury.”
The man’s voice is heavily accented, and he recites the need to call him back about appearing before a magistrate or federal judge for a federal criminal offense. He says his name is Steve Martin and urges a call back “to help us help you.”
Citizens report multiple calls from this number: 352-575-2546, all with the same message about a criminal matter with U.S. Treasury.
Local law enforcement has been alerted, and Racine police Chief Art Howell said he forwarded the information to the department’s white collar crimes unit. Tracing the true origin of the calls is difficult because perpetrators typically use pre-paid cell phones, he added.
Officials with the state Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection have also been notified. In a written statement posted on the agency’s website, they advise residents to hang up immediately, not to call the number dictated in the recording:
- Hang up and do not return the call. Federal government agencies don’t ask people to send money for unpaid loans.
- Remember that scammers can make your caller ID say whatever they choose. Do not trust that the information on your call ID display is legitimate.
- Never give out personal or banking information on an unsolicited call.
- There’s no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to wire money or load a rechargeable money card as a way to pay back a debt.
- If you still feel unsure about the call, look up the official number of the agency the caller is pretending to represent so you can get the real story.
Residents who receive these calls should take the necessary steps to block them.
This scam follows closely on the heels of another attempt to defraud a citizen out of sums of money. Mount Pleasant police say a man received a message from someone claiming to be from the IRS and threatening police action if the man didn’t cooperate.