VCSO Warns About Phone Scam Taking Seniors For Money

By on April 7, 2016 in WNDB News

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Volusia County, FL – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a scam alert after 2 elderly women were fooled by a phony IRS agent this week.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says 2 people were scammed out of money this week by a phony IRS agent. The victims, a 73-year-old Deltona woman and a 69-year-old woman who lives near Ormond Beach, were scammed out of a combined $700. According to Gary Davidson, VCSO Public Information Officer, “these things seem to proliferate around this time of year.” Scammers are trying to capitalize on the upcoming tax deadline, and they frequently target elderly people.

The first report was filed on Monday. The victim told deputies that she was called by someone claiming to be an IRS investigator. The scammer told the woman she owed back taxes and she would be arrested if she didn’t pay what she owed. The scammer had the woman’s Social Security number, lending credibility to his ruse. He instructed the woman to buy a $100 iTunes gift card then had her read him the card’s serial number. The woman didn’t realize it was a scam until it was too late.

The second victim reported a remarkably similar story to VCSO on Tuesday. In that case, the victim was told to buy 2 iTunes gift cards, one for $500 and the other for $100.

In both cases the phony IRS investigator told the victims they owed a lot in back taxes then asked how much they could afford to pay immediately as a partial repayment of the debt.

Davidson says scams like this are done over the phone but “the IRS doesn’t collect money for back taxes over the phone and they don’t tell people to get prepaid gift cards.” He went on to say “this is not the way the IRS operates.”

“If someone gets a call like this and they suspect that it might be legitimate or that they might owe back taxes then they need to contact the IRS directly,” said Davidson. “They need to initiate the contact with the IRS to confirm whether or not this is legitimate because in most cases these are scams.”

Anyone who gets a call like this should hang up immediately and contact the nearest law enforcement agency. You can also call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.

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