One of the schemes involves callers posing to be the IRS and requesting payments for overdue taxes. People who can least afford it are being cheated out of their money by high pressure, hoax telemarketers.
Another scheme involved claims that people owe utility payments and again payment is demanded over the phone.
Police are recommending town residents be careful about monetary transactions over the phone or online without complete assurance that it is legitimate.
Ludlow police Civilian Dispatcher Linda Zina has gotten as many as 30 calls in a day from residents who were cheated out of their money. Tele-marketers posing as representatives from the IRS or Eversource convince their victims they could end up in jail or have their electricity turned off.
“They often give them information, social security, date of birth, they don’t realize someone lied to them until all their money is gone,” Zina said.
Zina said the elderly frequently fall for the telemarketers scare tactics. But often, victims are younger struggling families.
“They live paycheck to paycheck,” said Zina. “They think ‘O my gosh, I can’t go without electricity, I have a four-month-old baby.'”
Ludlow police Sergeant Michael Gilrein laughed off the phony IRS call he received, but he sympathizes people who are unprepared for aggressive, and persuasive telemarketers.
“The typical reaction if you do not know it, is one of fear if someone calls you and demands payment whether it be for taxes, utilities and if you do not pay there’s a sense of urgency,” said Sgt. Gilrein.
If an Eversource bill collector calls you, police urge you to just hang up. The same goes for the phony IRS agents.
Neither the IRS nor Eversource will ever call you on the telephone to demand money.
Just hang up.