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Woman wires $1,000 to scammer

A Harrison Avenue resident lost $1,000 after she fell victim to a telephone scam June 6, according to police.

The 55-year-old woman said a man claiming he was an Internal Revenue Service agent called her home phone saying she owed the agency "roughly $4,000," police said. The caller, who identified himself as Jose Martinez, told her that if she paid $1,000 within the next hour, she would avoid legal proceedings, the report states.

The victim told police that she believed the caller, who instructed her to go to the Norwalk Home Depot and purchase two $500 Reloadit cash cards.

The woman stayed on the phone with the caller during the purchase and then read the barcode numbers on the back of the cards to him, according to police. Right after she finished reading the numbers, she lost the phone connection and the man never called her back, police said. The victim became suspicious and drove to the New Canaan police headquarters to report the incident.

Police said the money from the cash cards already has been spent but they're continue to investigate.

Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said in a statement that IRS' contact with taxpayers "is likely to occur via United States mail."

He asked residents not to give personal information to unknown individuals over the telephone or electronically; be suspicious of unsolicited telephone calls and e-mails; always check information that is provided by the caller to ensure it is accurate and legitimate; avoid conversations with unknown callers; and never wire or send money in response to an unknown caller making an unexpected demand.

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