The Ocean County Sheriff is urging residents to beware of suspicious telephone calls from callers identifying themselves as IRS agents and representatives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, a 39-year-old Point Pleasant woman contacted the Sheriff's Office after receiving a suspicious call on Monday afternoon.

Ocean County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Valerie Seiser investigated and found that the victim was called by a man who gave his name as Eric Watson and stated he was from the Internal Revenue Service. The caller told the woman an audit was just completed on her 2008-2013 Tax Returns and it was determined she owed $4,985.26.

According to Seiser’s investigation, the caller then instructed the Point Pleasant woman how to make a cash payment transfer and how to obtain a IRS receipt. In addition, another caller called her a short time later identifying himself as Ocean County Undersheriff William Sommeling and stated that if payment was not forwarded sheriffs officers would be responding to place her under arrest. Her caller ID indicated that the call came in on one of the Ocean County Sheriffs lines.

Mastronardy emphasized the IRS will not call you if you owe them money. That notification is usually made my mail.

He added that the Sheriff’s Office also will not call an individual about an IRS payment or any other kind of payment.

“I want Ocean County residents to be aware that scammers are becoming more sophisticated with their use of technology and the calls may seem very real,” Mastronardy said. “Never give a caller your personal information or make payment over the phone.”

If you receive any call that is suspicious Mastronardy recommends you contact your local police department or the Sheriff’s Department at 732-929-2044.

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Gannett/USAToday breaking news reporter at Asbury Park Press; Associate Editor at The Current; Associate Editor, Diocese of Camden Catholic Star Herald; Associate Editor, The Sentinel in Ocean City; general assignment news reporter with The Press.

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