The Norwalk Police Department has been getting complaints from people all over the United States about a telephone scam.
These complainants have been receiving telephone calls from a caller who has a foreign accent and claims to be calling from the U.S. Treasury Department. He goes on to warn them they are behind on their taxes and threatens if they do not send a specific amount of money immediately there will be a warrant issued for their arrest. The caller is persistent and calls back numerous times in some cases, said Norwalk Police Sgt. Jim Fulton.
When people have looked up the telephone number through Internet searches, it usually shows the calls are coming from some place in Norwalk, Ohio. All of the numbers appear to start with 567-244, with the last four digits being several combinations of numbers.
"So far we have 567-244-4580, 567-244-2519, 567-244-5246, 567-244-4092 and 567-244-4011," Fulton said.
The telephone company for these numbers is Ohio Telecom, which can be reached at (419) 734-2369.
After police contacted Ohio Telecom, it was confirmed the numbers are purchased by a company called Super Technologies out of Pensacola, Fla. and then resold. Super Technologies sells the telephone numbers to customers all over the world.
Ohio Telecom has been receiving similar complaints from all over the country. Ohio Telecom has been disconnecting the telephone numbers after complaints are received.
According to Ohio Telecom officials, these calls are actually coming from a location in India, Fulton said.
Ohio Telecom provided police with contact information for the CEO of Super Technologies, Suzanne Bowen. However, neither of the numbers — (850) 433-8555 and (850) 602-9216 — appears to be working or answered by anyone from that company.
Information about this scam has been provided to other area law enforcement agencies, along with the Sandusky Office of the FBI, to be forwarded to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.IC3.gov.