Phone scams making the rounds

Local officials have issued warnings regarding a variety of phone scams that have been targeting the public over recent weeks.

In Beacon Falls, residents have been receiving cold calls from people claiming to be soliciting donations for Beacon Hose Company No. 1, Fire Chief Jim Trzaski said.

Trzaski said he personally has heard from five people in town that received such a phone call.

Trzaski wanted to make it clear to the public that the department does not use telemarketing companies to solicit funds over the phone. The department raises money locally through events, he said, and once a year the department sends out a donation request letter in advance of the annual carnival. The letter is on official envelopes and stationery and will have his signature on them, Trzaski said.

Trzaski said this scam isn’t exclusive to Beacon Falls. He said similar scams involving other police and fire departments have been playing out throughout the Valley.

Anyone who ever has any questions regarding Beacon Hose can contact the firehouse at (203) 729-1470.

On Tuesday, the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce posted a message on its Facebook page stating that one of its members reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the chamber and asking for employee information.

The chamber wrote that it is not making these types of phone calls. Anyone who questions a call from the chamber can call the office at (203) 757-0701.

Naugatuck police are also warning the public to be aware of an Internal Revenue Service phone scam that is occurring around the country.

The department posted on its Facebook page that a caller reported that he or she had provided information to a scammer purporting to be from the IRS.

The way the scam works is the callers claim to be from the IRS and that the person they called owes taxes. The callers often demand payment be made immediately or the person will be arrested.

Police reminded the public that the IRS will not call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or require that a person pay their taxes a certain way, such as a prepaid debit card.

Anyone who receives such a call and feels they may owe taxes can contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.