Imagine getting a call from the IRS saying you owed money. Not just a few bucks, but nearly $10,000 in back taxes.
That’s what happened to Van Edmundson and his wife Michelle.
Van says, “What are you talking about? I got to go make a payment right now, I can’t get a hold of my CPA or anything.”
He says the scammer said, “Well you can, but this is your time to do this or you’re probably going to be arrested in a few hours.”
Van was going along with it for about thirty minutes.
He says scammers said, “They’ve sent two certified letters to your house and had an IRS agent go to the house and they never could contact you.”
Eventually he started asking questions and drove to the police department to check, so the caller put a fake officer on the phone.
“An officer came on line. She spoke a little bit of an accent, middle eastern accent. But the officer that came on had very plain English.”
Van says he didn’t realize he was about to be ripped off until he noticed the call was from Egypt. But at first the call came in with a different area code.
Heather Clary with the Better Business Bureau says, “Many times these con artists will use a 202 are code because it looks like they’re calling from Washington DC, which of course everyone associates with where the IRS is, to try to lend credence to the scam. But it’s still a scam. ”
Clary says the phones at the BBB have been ringing off the hook with similar complaints.
A caller reported a scam as ABC 36 cameras were rolling, the caller saying, “I got a couple messages from the IRS supposedly…You know they say they’re going to take my driver’s license…”
Clary tells her “You know it’s a scam though right? Alright if they call anymore don’t answer okay.”
But Van’s wife Michelle didn’t take that advice and confronted the scammer.
She asks the scammer, “You gonna answer to why you keep calling people fraudulently ?” The scammer doesn’t answer and hangs up.
The Better Business Bureau says the IRS will never call you without first sending you a letter if there’s a problem. It will never leave a message on your machine, threatening a lawsuit or your arrest. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is leading an investigation to find the culprits responsible. If you’ve been a target of a similar scam or have more information, you can file a report with them at tigta.gov