The following is a republished press release and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca Police Department has recently received reports of phone scams involving someone pretending to be an IRS agent while claiming the victim owed a “College Tax.”

In this particular scam, the caller states that the victim owes money for an unpaid “College Tax” and that he/she must pay it during the phone call or face arrest. The victim is also instructed not to tell anyone about the phone call, and is guided through the process on how to make payment via gift cards or store green cards. One victim spent over six hours on the phone getting over 25 gift cards together from multiple stores to pay the “College Tax.”

These phone calls, and so many other similar types of scams wherein payment is demanded to be made over the phone right then and there, are scams.

Acting Chief of Police Pete Tyler states “Please be vigilant when discussing your finances, especially over the phone. Error on the side of caution and hang up immediately if you believe you are being scammed”.

If you believe that you have received a scam phone call please contact the Ithaca Police Department at 607-272-3245. For a comprehensive list of known or suspected scams please visit