A phone scam is circulating the area, and local law enforcement officials are warning residents.
Reports of a phone scam involving a person who purports to be with the Internal Revenue Service have surfaced in the last several months at the Milledgeville Police Department for several months, according to officials.
According to Det. Kim Khan, for the past six months, there has been an increase in the number of reports of Milledgeville residents receiving phone calls from a fraudulent IRS agent requesting money.
"All complainants tell us the same thing. A guy calls saying he's from the IRS and that they owe X amount of money that has to be paid immediately to avoid jail or imprisonment," Khan said.
Potential victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card: Green Dot Visa or MasterCard.
The scammers then threaten people with a possible arrest or jail time, in an effort coerce them to act quickly.
Khan said the agent goes by the name Agent Clark.
"The elderly are getting hit the most with this scam," she said. "They act on the fear of going to jail and will immediately provide the funds for the scam artists."
The IRS follows certain procedures that are designed to protect citizens’ rights. For those who understand how the agency operates, say law enforcement officials, it's easy to spot the scams.
Khan reminds citizens that the IRS does not contact taxpayers via phone.
"If you did actually owe money to the IRS, you'd receive a certified letter and not a phone call."
She said if anyone becomes a victim of this scam, or any scam to file a report with a local law enforcement agency. In addition, those who have actually paid money to someone in the tax scam should file a complaint with the IRS as well.