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ESL Federal Credit Union warns community about increase in fraudulent activity

By Press Release

Press Release:

We would like to raise awareness in the community about a recent increase in fraudulent phishing schemes designed to exploit members’ personal and financial information. 

As part of the most recent scheme, customers receive a text message asking them to provide personal information through a link, or receive a phone call from someone claiming they are from their bank or credit union asking to confirm their identity by providing personal details.

It’s important that customers refrain from providing information to these individuals. ESL will never ask you to:

  • Click links in text messages to verify information
  • Provide banking login credentials (i.e. User name and password)
  • Share Apple, Samsung, or Google ID information
  • Provide any two-factor authentication codes or confirm login codes that have been sent to your phone or email

Ensuring the safety of customer information is of the utmost priority. If you have any questions about a call, text, or piece of mail you received, please call us at 585.336.1000.

H.E. Turner shares alert from National Funeral Directors on scam being run on bereaved families

By Press Release

Press Release:

We have been alerted through the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) of a scam targeting families we may have recently served. The predators are targeting those who have recently experienced a death by using recently published obituaries as well as those who may have made preneed funeral arrangements.

For the families who have recently experienced a death, scammers posing as a member of the funeral home’s staff are calling to tell families that they owe another $1,000 (or some other amount) for the service.

Families are also being contacted to say that a “security deposit” of $1,500 (or some other amount) is needed for their preneed account. The scammers threaten that if the deposit is not paid immediately, the funeral home cannot guarantee that the service will take place.

“While we have not been made aware of any specific instance of this scam happening locally, we certainly encourage all families in our community to be aware of this ongoing situation and to contact their funeral home of preference independently of any phone call received making such claims,” said Justin D. Calarco-Smith, funeral director and president of H.E. Turner & Co. and its affiliated funeral homes in Genesee and Wyoming counties. “If this is indeed happening in our area, we’d like to be aware,” added Calarco-Smith.

Sheriff's Office reminds residents to be leery of scammers during holiday season

By Press Release

Press release:

With the holiday season upon us and the giving spirit roused, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone not to let their generosity contribute to them falling victim to one of many prevalent scams.  As a general rule, it is a best practice to never provide personal or financial information to anyone who calls you over the phone or contacts you via e-mail or text message who may purport themselves to be a representative from Law Enforcement, the Federal Government, a Bank/Financial Institution, or other business. 

  • Scammers will often contact you pretending to be from a known organization such as the Sheriff’s Office, IRS, FBI, Microsoft, Pay Pal, Amazon, or countless other businesses/government entities.  The scammer may indicate that you have a problem with your account or there is a virus on your computer, and they need to assist you in rectifying the issue. 

Scammers may ask:

  • you to click on a provided link
  • for personal and banking information
  • for remote access to your computer to assist in correcting the fictitious problem 
  • The scammers may tell you that your daughter, son, husband, wife, grandchild, close friend or someone you know is in trouble with law enforcement and needs money for bail. 
  • Scammers may indicate that you have won a sweepstakes and that they will be sending you a check to cash and then ask that a portion of the proceeds be sent back to them. 
  • Scammers may ask for payment in the form of gift cards, electronic payments or ask that you send cash in the mail to a specified address.  Scammers may also indicate that they will send a currier to your residence to retrieve your payment. 

These perpetrators of scams will attempt to pressure you to act quickly by threatening that the problem will only get worse if you don’t act now or that you will be arrested if the issue is not immediately addressed. 

Please be suspicious of anyone asking for personal or financial information.  If you suspect something may not be legitimate, tell someone you trust what the situation is before you act and potentially suffer a financial loss that may not be recoverable or disclose personally-identifying information. 

If you fall victim to a scam, please report it to your local law enforcement agency.

Have a safe and secure Holiday Season!

Office for the Aging warns seniors of Medicare phone scams locally

By Press Release

Press release from the Genesee County Office of the Aging:

Callers claiming to be from Medicare have been targeting seniors in our local area.

Please be aware:

  • Medicare will NEVER call and ask for your Medicare number.
  • If you get a call from someone promising free items, if you give them your Medicare number (can include back brace, glucose monitor, pain relievers for arthritis) -- DO NOT DO IT. This is a scam, even if they tell you it is not.
  • Refuse any offer, money, or gifts for free medical care.
  • If you see any charges on your Explanation of Benefits from Medicare, or from your Medicare Advantage provider that you do not understand, call the office from where it was billed to question the charge.
  • Most importantly – guard your card like it is a credit card. If you did not initiate the call, do not give out any information.

If you feel you may have been a victim of Medicare fraud, please call the NYS Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-333-4374.

National Grid alerts customers of scam: imposters promising refunds or discounts, asking for personal info

By Press Release

Press release:

With the holidays in full swing and the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial stress on many individuals, National Grid is alerting customers about recent reports of scams where imposters are promising refunds or discounts.

Here’s how scammers are trying to prey on customers:

  • Customers may notice their caller ID displays an incoming call is from a phone number in a nearby town or even the neighborhood where they live.

  • When customers answer the phone, a recorded message explains that due to being overbilled, they are owed refunds or discounts on their utility bills.

  • The customer is instructed to press "1" to learn more about the refund or discount.

  • The customer is transferred to a someone who explains that the customer is eligible for a refund or discount.

  • The customer is then asked for personal information, which may include their utility bill account number.

  • The scammer also may ask for the customer’s bank account number or other personal or financial information. Divulging this level of information can lead to identity theft or customers having their bank accounts accessed.

    Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in replicating National Grid’s recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts, making it more difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid phone call from an imposter’s call. Similar scams have been reported across the United States by other utilities.

    Customers who have fallen victim to the scam should immediately contact National Grid by using the toll-free telephone numbers listed on their billing statements. The company wants to protect customers and offers the following warning signs to detect this recent scam:

  • Do not cave to pressure. Never – under any circumstances – offer personal or financial information to someone who you cannot identify.

  • Scammers will not have access to your account information, and you should never provide that information if you are asked.

  • National Grid representatives who call you will know your account number.

  • Verify that you are speaking with a National Grid representative. Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number.

  • If the caller does not know your account number, hang up the phone.

To learn more about protecting yourself and your family from scams, visit

U.S. Marshals alert public of imposter scammers attempting to get banking and credit card info

By Press Release

Press release:

The U.S. Marshals are alerting the public of several imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals. In the past few weeks, there have been several reported scam calls to Rochester-area citizens. Law Enforcement is urging people to report the calls the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement.

During these calls, scammers have attempted to gain banking information and credit card numbers. Telling the victims that their Social Security number has been used in a criminal act and this information is needed within an hour or they will be arrested.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, a report was made to the U.S. Marshals office in Rochester. The victim reported that a caller told him there was a warrant for his arrest. The victim was told to transfer funds and if he did not comply, he was threatened with arrest and seizing of his property.

Additional incidents reported this month to Law Enforcement where Scam Calls attempted to collect a fine in lieu of arrest due to a claim of identity theft, failing to report for jury duty or other offenses, or even threating to seize property. Imposters tell victims they can avoid arrest by withdrawing cash and transferring it, purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and reading the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine, or by depositing cash into bitcoin ATMs.

Scammers use many tactics to sound and appear credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses. They may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller IDs as if they are calling from a government agency or the court.

In March 2020, The Department of Justice launched the National Elder Fraud Hotline, which provides services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed.

The hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).

If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and to the FTC.

Things to remember:

  • U.S. MARSHALS WILL NEVER ask for credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.

  • NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

  • Report scam phone calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

  • You can remain anonymous when you report.

  • Authenticate the call by calling the clerk of the court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.

    -- Related article on SSN scams can be found at Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes or
    -- More information on the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center can be found at

    Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at

The latest scam: using City of Batavia's name to try and get people's banking information

By Press Release

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

The City of Batavia has become aware of a scam in which the scammers are using the phone number and name of the City in an attempt to get victims to provide personal banking information. The caller ID comes across as “City of Batavia” with the phone number (585) 343-8182. The scammer is telling victims they have overcharged on a utility bill and want information to reimburse the money.

The City of Batavia will not request personal banking information over the phone. The City only provides refunds or payments to citizens and vendors in the form of a check.

Follows these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help avoid fraud:

1.    Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government officiala family membera charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.  

2.    Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

3.    Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

4.    Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

BPD warns immigrants of scams involving people claiming to be government agents, and other fraud schemes

By Press Release

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has been made aware of a scam in which suspects will contact immigrants claiming to be government agents.

The suspects will inform the individuals that their accounts have been flagged for sending money to terrorist organizations and demand that the individuals send them gift cards to correct the issue. The suspects will threaten to have the individuals deported if they do not comply.

The United States Government will never require the purchasing of gift cards to clear any issues. Citizens who receive these calls should never comply and not provide any personal information to the suspects.

Follows these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help avoid fraud:

  1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
  2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
  3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job.

  1. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
  2. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.
  3. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.
  4. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.
  5. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.
  6. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.
  7. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.

If you spot a scam, report it at Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

Hawley calls for vigilance as bogus letters about NYSDOL benefits hit mailboxes

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is aware of the recent string of fraud cases that have developed in the wake of an overwhelmed New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) doing what it can to assist as many people as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a significant number of people to lose their jobs.

The scam stems from evidence that individuals throughout Western New York have received letters concerning unemployment benefits from the NYSDOL, despite never having sought unemployment claims at all. Hawley is urging everyone to remain vigilant and responsible during this time.

“I have my reservations when it comes to government agencies operating efficiently,” Hawley said. “I am coordinating with the NYSDOL to ensure those who need legitimate support receive it, and those who are falling victim to these identity thieves know what steps to take to set things right.”

NYSDOL is still developing a comprehensive set of instructions that it will make public for those wondering what steps to take should they receive such a letter. Until that time, Hawley is encouraging all citizens to stay vigilant, monitor their mail, and should they notice anything suspicious coming from the NYSDOL in the mail (particularly when they have not claimed unemployment), they should report it to the Fraud Department by calling toll-free at (888) 598-2077, or visiting this website.

Citizens are also encouraged to email the FBI branch in Buffalo if they have received a letter or related debit card contact at: or call the number of the New York State Police Troop A Headquarters at (585) 344-6200.

National Grid warns of phone scam of imposters demanding bill payment, threatening disconnection

By Billie Owens

Press release:

National Grid is warning Western New York customers to beware of a new phone scam where imposters are demanding immediate bill payment and threatening service disconnection.

This latest scam, which is targeting customers already facing hardships due to COVID-19, involves callers who pretend to be National Grid representatives.

They tell customers that unless payment is made within 30 minutes, their power will be shut off. The customer is then directed to call “the direct billing department to make a payment and avoid power disconnection.”

The scammers use sophisticated phone systems that display National Grid on the customer’s caller ID.

Additionally, the phone number customers are instructed to call closely resembles the company’s recorded messaging and phone prompt directions. These elements make it difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid call from an imposter’s call.

When in doubt, customers should hang up and call the National Grid customer service number on their bill.

National Grid reminds customers that on March 13, the company temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company continues to encourage customers struggling to pay their bills to take advantage of bill payment options or to call to speak with one of our Consumer Advocates.

Additional Tips to Protect Against Scams

National Grid urges customers to be cautious of scammers and offers the following tips:

  • National Grid representatives will know your account number; never offer that information to a caller.

  • Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number. If thecaller doesn’t know your account number, asks questions about your account balance and associated details, or if you have any doubt the caller is a National Grid representative, please take charge and immediately hang up. Call National Grid or local law enforcement officials to report the incident.

  • National Grid will not contact customers demanding immediate payment by wire transfer, Green Dot Money-Pak or any other prepaid card service.

  • Never -- under any circumstances -- offer personal or financial information to someone who you cannot identify.

  • For more information on scams, click here.

BEWARE: NYS Division of Consumer Protection warns consumers about coronavirus scammers

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is alerting consumers about scammers taking advantage of the novel coronavirus.

Scammers are using techniques that typically arise with a major global event such as: falsely claiming to be online sellers of popular goods; setting up fake charities; sending fake emails and texts that contain harmful links designed to steal your personal information; and using robocalls to pitch novel coronavirus treatments and work at home schemes.

People should be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of public fears surrounding this issue.

“Unscrupulous scammers never take a break and they are now trying to cash in on the news of the novel coronavirus by trying to lure people into unknowingly providing their personal information,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “During this public health emergency, there are simple steps you can take to avoid novel coronavirus scams that can help protect your hard-earned money and your identity.”

“New York State’s coordinated multi-agency response to managing the novel coronavirus includes raising awareness about deceptive and dishonest attempts to take advantage of people during this outbreak,” said Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. “The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses involve proven precautions, like washing your hands, sneezing or coughing into your elbow and staying indoors when you feel sick to help prevent the spread of infection all year.”

Below are tips to protect yourself from novel coronavirus scams:

  • Research online sellers before placing an order. Check out the seller by searching online for the person or company’s name, phone number and email address, plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” If everything checks out, pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t knowIt could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Be aware of emails coming from unknown senders. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus in New York State, visit the New York State Department of Health website.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the novel coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Be aware of emails asking for donations. Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
  • Be alert of high prices on critical goods. Any New Yorker who sees excessively priced consumer goods and services that are used primarily for personal, family or household purposes to prevent or respond to novel coronavirus should file a complaint with DCP. New Yorkers can now report sudden and unexpected increases in consumer goods such as hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, or other health and sanitation related products by calling the consumer hotline toll free at 800-697-1220.
  • Hang up on illegal robocallers. If you receive a call about scam novel coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes, hang up. Don’t press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

New York State is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus. For up to date information on the novel coronavirus, visit the New York State Department of Health website or call the Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the DCP Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or visit the DCP website. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook.

Local Census committee reports possible scam

By Billie Owens

A notice from the (U.S. Census) 2020 Complete Count Committee about a possible scam:

At our last meeting there was a discussion about a number of individuals receiving postcards for the 2020 Census, with some saying it seemed to be a pre-census survey.

Susan Perry from our regional Census office states there is NOT A POSTCARD relating to the 2020 Census currently being mailed.

Additionally, It also seems to be unrelated to the American Community Survey (ACS), which occurs each year, as those recipients would be receiving a lengthy form, not a postcard.

However, LOCAL CANVASSING IS CURRENTLY OCCURRING to confirm addresses but those are done in person, and individuals conducting the survey should have appropriate identification.

Perry is not aware of the canvassers leaving any postcards when residents are not at home. Perry said she believes they instead return in person at a later period to conduct those surveys.

The initial correspondence for the 2020 Census will be a LETTER that will be mailed out in March. This letter will have the website and phone number which you may use to fill out the form, as well as a secure 12 digit code to verify your identity.

When asked what the letter and subsequent postcards will look like, the Census Office is not sure if they have a public image of it to be released beforehand as that may actually encourage more fraudulent materials being sent out.  

If you or your representative receives one of these POSTCARDS, send it to:

Derik A. Kane, Senior Planner, CNUa

Genesee County Department of Planning
3837 W. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020-9404

Sheriff's Office: Beware of phone scam revolving around Social Security Administration

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. would like to advise the public that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has become aware of reports of fraudulent telephone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Callers are using threatening language to warn unknowing victims that they will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number or press the number indicated in the message to address the issue.

In some instances, these unknown callers switch tactics and communicate that they want to help an individual with activating a suspended Social Security number.

Such calls are a scam and are notcoming from official SSA representatives.

Do not engage with such callers, and please report any suspicious calls to Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-269-0271 or submitting a report on the OIG website (

Additional information on the nature of these fraudulent calls, as well as instructions on how to report such activity, can be obtained by accessing the Social Security Matters blog (

Sheriff's Office warns of scam involving personal medical information

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like to warn the public of a scam involving personal medical information.

Perpetrators of this scam contact local residents by telephone and attempt to elicit medical history / records. The information is then used to fill out prescriptions which are sent to medical offices for refill. Once signed, these prescriptions are being used to bill insurance companies.

The origins of this scam are unknown at this time but the scam is under investigation and it is, quite likely, a multiple-state crime.

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind local residents NOT to provide personal or medical information over the telephone.

Remember, thieves can appear to be very knowledgeable and convincing in nature. It is important to contact your local physician or pharmacy if you believe such information has been compromised.

GC Sheriff's Office warns of scam by phony utility company reps demanding money ASAP

By Billie Owens

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is advising citizens to be aware of a scam targeting local area residents and businesses. The scam involves a phone call from a utility company claiming that the customer is overdue on their utility payments and that their service will be shut off within an hour if they do not make an immediate cash payment in person to their representative.

They are using a realistic call-back number and automated message that resembles an actual utility company's message and slogan. Once you contact the representative at the number given, and follow the prompts, the customer service person with whom you speak will demand that you make a cash payment to their representative in person to avoid the shut off.

This is a scam to steal money from you; the legitimate utility companies contacted advised that they will never send a representative to your home to collect overdue payments in person, or ever meet you at a specified location to receive payments from a customer.

Utility companies also indicate that they do not take payments with a "green dot" card or by Western Union. Payments for legitimate service will be made through the utility company website, call centers and by mail.

Please contact your utility company at the number provided on your bill or in the phone book if you have questions regarding the legitimacy of a service employee or communication from the company.

City PD warns of IRS scam involving phone numbers from city government offices

By Billie Owens

Press release from the City of Batavia Police Department:

The Batavia Police Department has been made aware of an IRS Scam involving phone numbers associated with the City of Batavia Government Offices.

The scammers state that they are with the City of Batavia and that they are collecting for the IRS.

They then ask for funds to be transferred into an account within an hour to prevent arrest and / or additional charges. The caller ID shows an actual phone number associated with the City of Batavia. City Officials were made aware of the scam by a subject in New York City who had received several calls.

The City of Batavia is not collecting funds for the IRS.

The Batavia Police Department is urging citizens to not provide any personal information over the phone and to never transfer money to anyone unless the recipient can be verified.

Below is a list of things that the IRS will not do per their website:

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Le Roy PD warns of IRS phone scam

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Le Roy Police Department wishes to advise all citizens of a recent scam phone call being received by person(s) in the Le Roy/Genesee County area.

The caller states he is from the IRS and that a lawsuit is being filed against the victim for unpaid taxes. Further the scam caller then demands money and the Social Security number of the victim.

The Le Roy Police suggest that if you receive, or have already received, such a call please do not supply the scam caller with any information. Simply hang up. Furthermore, do not give or send the scam caller any money.

If you have questions about such a call, or have received one, please contact police.

Sheriff's Office warns of Craigslist scam using iTunes gift cards to buy vehicles

By Billie Owens

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office would like the residents of Genesee County to be aware of a scam that is going around. The Sheriff's Office has received complaints where residents attempting to purchase motor vehicles on Craigslist are being asked to pay for these items with iTunes gift cards.

The transaction process is through a fraudulent Apple Pay account that the suspect sets up for the victim. The victim then purchases the gift cards and is required to contact a fraudulent 1-800 number and give the suspect the redemption codes on the back of the iTunes gift cards before they'll ship the vehicle.

The suspect never delivers the vehicle and the iTunes gift cards are redeemed by the suspect.

If anyone encounters this type of scenario, please do not move forward with payment and contact the Sheriff's Office at 585-343-5000.

Assemblyman Hawley warns utility customers about scam - 'Green Dot MoneyPak Card'

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is warning his constituents of an emerging scam being perpetrated on customers of New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E).

The scam involves a person claiming to be a NYSEG or RG&E representative calling customers and threatening them with service cancellation unless they buy a "Green Dot MoneyPak Card."

Once purchased, the scammer uses the card.

“Customers of NYSEG and RG&E need to be on guard for scammers soliciting the Green Dot MoneyPak Card. If you get one of these calls, do not buy the card and contact the Federal Trade Commission and your local police to let them know the issue,” Hawley said.

“If you have fallen victim to the scheme, you may be able to get your money back by contacting Green Dot MoneyPak and deactivating the card before the scammer uses it.”

Scam victims who want to get their money back can do so by going to and clicking “I would like a refund of my MoneyPak.” However, this will not work if the scammer has already spent your money.

Free scam prevention workshop Monday afternoon

By Billie Owens

Lifespan and the Older Adult Ministry Team at Batavia First United Methodist Church are sponsoring a Scam Prevention Presentation from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12.

It will take place at the church, located at 8221 Lewiston Road.

Attendees of this free event can learn more about:

Event Date and Time

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