A recurring scam has cropped up in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with dozens of calls coming into the local sheriff’s office to file complaints.

Scam: US Treasury Phone Scam

Who Is It Targeting: Arizona Residents

What Is It: According to the police, a caller reaches out to unsuspecting citizens and informs them he’s from the US Treasury Department. He goes on to tell the potential victim that they have somehow violated the law, and he can accept payment of a fine over the phone instead of issuing a warrant for their arrest. There are no reports yet as to whether or not the scammer has been successful, but multiple reports to the police indicate that the potential victims were smarter about this than he might have thought. According to a report by AZCentral.com, “The number associated with the calls is 302-440-0563 and the caller identifies himself as David Grey or David Greg, according to a post on the Paradise Valley police Facebook page.”

What Are They After: Direct Payment

How Can You Avoid It:  It is absolutely imperative that consumers understand the rules for receiving notification. Agencies like the US Treasury Department, the IRS, and other similar entities do not function this way. Any communication you receive, especially one that indicates punitive action might be taken, will come in the form of a written letter sent through the postal system. This gives you a written paper trail for documentation purposes, but also helps you know that the communication is legitimate. Should you receive a call such as this one, it’s important to remember that you are within your rights to simply hang up. If there is any doubt about the caller’s claims being true, simply locate the number for the agency he claims to represent and inquire. If you are able to garner any information about the caller, such as the phone number or his stated alias, it would be helpful for notifying the police. A police report about the incident not only helps law enforcement be prepared for future victims’ calls, it helps them understand the scope of identity theft and scams.