WILLIAMSBURG -- Williamsburg Police are warning local residents about fake telephone calls and emails telling residents they owe back taxes and fines.

Major Greg Riley said the scammers pretend to be IRS agents and working with law enforcement. They also threaten to arrest victims if payments aren't made.

'Your local police are not going to shake you down for money or arrest you. We have a judicial obligation that if we have a crime we investigate that and we give warrants and proceed,' said Riley.

The department is currently investigating a case in which a resident was scammed out of thousands of dollars. Police say they're having a hard time tracking down the scam artist in that case because the victim paid using prepaid credit cards, just as the caller demanded. The cards don't have tracking or identification numbers on them and the funds can be withdrawn anywhere.

'A person could be anywhere in the country or anywhere on the planet and actually receive those funds and there's no way to really track what has happened to that,' said Riley.

Riley said police do not call or email individuals about unpaid debts or fees.

'Take the time if that threat has been made to verify with you local law enforcement about whether or not there are warrants for you. Gather all that information from the person on the phone their name what agency and who they are representing,' said Riley.

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