Watertown Police responded with guns drawn to what they thought was an armed home invasion only to find out they'd been swatted by scammers who had created the false alarm
The Internal Revenue Service and police have been warning residents across Connecticut about an IRS scam, but scammers who targeted a Watertown resident went so far as to make it look like police were coming for the victim.
On Monday, scammers called a Watertown resident, claiming the person owes the IRS a lot of money and threatened arrest if the victim did not immediately pay up, according to police.
The local resident refused to pay and the scammers threatened an arrest, police said.
Then the scammers made a "swatting" call to 911, manipulating caller ID to show the victim’s phone number, posed as the victim and told the dispatcher that armed intruders were in the house, police said.
The caller was difficult to understand, sounded hysterical, and said he was locked in his bedroom. It sounded like he said three people with masks and knives were trying to break into the house.
Police responded to the house, believing there was an active home invasion.
The dispatcher kept telling the caller to stop crying and to stay quiet and stayed on the phone until police arrived.
Watertown Police said this is the first time something like this has happened in town and urge residents to be cautious when dealing with people on the phone and avoid giving out personal information.
They ask anyone who has been targeted by the scam to call the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint."
If you believe that you have been the victim of any scam, contact your local police department.
The IRS offers the following tips:
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
The Watertown Police Department urges the public to be wary when dealing with individuals via telephone and do not give out any personal information to them. If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam contact your local police department.