More scams hit area phone lines

Published 8:28 am Friday, May 8, 2015

Callers claiming to be with the IRS and Publishers Clearinghouse have targeted local residents for possible attempted scams over the last few weeks.

Annie Jones, who lives on Superior Avenue, said a person claiming to be with the IRS called her on consecutive days. She said she didn’t answer the first call but recorded the second call.

“You could tell it was a machine talking,” Jones said. “I don’t owe the IRS anything. I live on Social Security and don’t make enough money to pay into the IRS. The message said they were going to start a lawsuit against me. It said nothing about money and no details. All they gave me was a phone number to call to find out more details. They do sound very professional, but the IRS doesn’t call you up.”

Jones said she is not worried about a lawsuit.

“This is just ridiculous,” Jones said. “If they are doing this to me, there are probably a lot more in Bogalusa they’re doing it to, and they need to know about.”

Bogalusa Police Chief Joe Culpepper said he was unaware of any scams involving the IRS.

In another scam to hit the area, Derbigney Street resident Donna Carroll said she hasn’t started counting her money even though she was recently told over the phone that she was the Publishers Clearinghouse Grand Prize winner.

She was also given a confirmation number to claim the prize.

Carroll was told a man by the name of Bobby Baker would arrive at her house and present her with a check for $5.5 million.

“I was told to act real surprised and to dress real nice,” Carroll said. “As a bonus, I would receive two 2014 white Mercedes Benzes.”

Carroll said the caller then delivered the catch.

“He said I would just have to first pay a small percentage tax of $150,” Carroll said. “I started laughing to myself at that point, but I just kept playing along with his little game. He said he had to have the money up front before I could get the $5.5 million.”

Carroll said the man asked her to put the $150 on a credit card and then she would receive the $5.5 million and cars. When she refused, the man hung up.

“People, please don’t believe these telephone scams,” Carroll warned. “Tell them before you send them any money that you will call the Chief of Police and have him investigate them. If they are a real company, then you will get your money. Believe me, they will hang up immediately because they will know they couldn’t scam you.”

Carroll said she recognized the voice of the man who had called earlier in the day calling again. This time, the man said she had won a $1.2 million jackpot. She was only asked to pay $125 to claim that prize.