Everyone hates paying taxes.
And the letters "IRS" are enough to strike fear in the hearts of the bravest people.
So when two St. Charles residents got calls on June 26 and June 27 from people claiming to be IRS agents, saying arrests were imminent if past due taxes were not paid immediately, it's easy to see why they complied.
Except it was all a scam, St. Charles police say.
In the first case, a resident was told they owed $5,000 balance and threatened with arrest and eviction. The resident was directed to a pharmacy and told to load the amount onto Green Dot MoneyPacks, police said.
The resident followed directions, but was told the cards didn't work and that $2,500 more in cards needed to be purchased. At that point, the victim stopped contact with the caller, who had a 202 area code signifying Washington, D.C.
In the second case, a woman was told she owed $6,000 to the IRS, again by a caller with a 202 area code. She was told to go to a grocery store and buy 10 Reloadit cards with $500 on each card, police said. She completed the transaction, but was told to go to a pharmacy to buy more cards. At that point, she also broke off contact with the caller, police said.
Perhaps if the crooks had been less greedy ...
"This scam has been seen across the country for at least a couple years, but incidents seem to have spiked within the last year," police said on the city's website, stcharlesil.gov.
"Those who make the calls are reported to be extremely rude, threatening and demanding. Residents should know that the IRS, or any other government entity, does not operate in this manner. Some type of mail correspondence would be sent rather than a phone call."
Residents who receive a call like this should contact police at (630) 377-4435.
Prison possible for fight:
A 29-year-old Elgin man faces up to six years in prison for his role in an August 2013 gang fight outside a business on Villa Street in Elgin.
A Kane County jury convicted Laron C. Henyard, 29, of the 1200 block of Mallard Drive, of felony mob action after a trial late last month.
According to prosecutors, four members of an Elgin gang went to a business on the 600 block of Villa at about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2013, and saw members of a rival gang in the parking lot.
The gangs had fights in the past and immediately began fighting again. By the time police arrived, all the gang members had left, but authorities later found a recording of the fight online and identified all eight people involved, prosecutors said.
Henyard will be sentenced on Aug 20.
"Gang violence degrades communities, silences vibrant neighborhoods and inhibits people from their daily routines," said Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon. "We hope this conviction puts gang members on notice that appropriate resources will be used to keep our community safe."