Franklin County is being hit hard by scammers claiming to be from the IRS, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office warned Wednesday.

Residents have been inundated with phone calls from scammers posing as IRS employees, making statements that residents owe money and if they do not pay, they will be arrested, the Franklin County Sheriff’s office Facebook page said.

“It is a scam. Neither the IRS nor any other government agency will ever call you on the phone demanding money,” the office warned. “Please protect yourselves, your parents and neighbors by letting everyone know these are scammers trying to steal your money.”

Anyone who receives one of these calls is asked to call U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ office at 1-855-303-9470 to speak with one of her staff members. Collins chairs  the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which offers a fraud hotline (1-855-303-9470).

On Wednesday, that hotline received more than 50 calls from Mainers, Collins office said.

Authorities caution people to be safe with their personal information and never give out dates of birth or Social Security information to anyone over the phone.

Also on Wednesday, residents were warned about another scam where con artists pose as court system employees calling for personal information.

In the court scam, someone calls pretending to be a court official and says the person has outstanding parking or moving violation tickets, Maine Judicial Branch spokeswoman Mary Ann Lynch said.

The callers are engaging in “Caller ID Spoofing” to make it look like the calls are originating from a court house.

“They are not,” Lynch said. “Variations of this scam have been reported in a number of states.”

No one from the Maine Judicial Branch would ever call and ask for personal information such as a Social Security number, date of birth or credit card information over the telephone, she said.

Anyone receiving such a call should hang up and contact their local police department.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id.


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