• Target 11 investigates harassing hoax


    PITTSBURGH - A viewer contacted Target 11 after he began receiving threatening and harassing phone calls from people claiming to be with the United States Treasury.

    Tony Cesare told Channel 11's Rick Earle that he started getting the phone calls several weeks ago, and he said he continued to get them every day.

    "(They said) that I owed money to the U.S. Treasury and they had a warrant for my arrest and the sheriff would be coming to my house," Cesare told Earle.

    Cesare stopped answering the phone, but he said some of the callers left voice messages. He played one of the messages for us. They are tough to understand because the woman caller is speaking broken English.

    "This is Eileen Fernandez with the department of legal affairs at U.S. Treasury. This is a notification for Tony in regards to some enforcement actions that have been started on your name. This is a notification for Tony in regards to some enforcement actions that have been started on your name. If for any reason you are busy to call back, I would suggest you to have your retain attorney do it for you. Constantly avoiding us might end up into a legal mess for you. I hope you will take the time and call me back. Until then have a blessed day and God bless you, " said the caller.

    Cesare immediately reported the caller to the Treasury Department. They confirmed it was fraudulent.

    "The Treasury Department does not send unsolicited request and does not seek personal or financial information from members of the public by e-mail or phone," said an email from the Treasury Department.

    Earle called the number several times, but could never get through.

    Cesare told Earle he just wants to warn others so that no one gets taken advantage of.

    "They were trying to get you scared that you were going to go to jail. I could see if I was a little older or something and didn't know what was going on. I would probably send some money in," said Cesare.

    Target 11 did a quick Internet search and discovered that Cesare isn't alone. Others across the country have received similar phone calls. The Treasury Department is now urging people to report the bogus phone calls.

    A spokesperson for Treasury provided the following contact information:

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