Woman loses more than $14,500 in scam

A Nineveh woman lost $14,500 to a scammer claiming to be an IRS agent.

The woman received a call Monday morning from a man claiming to be an IRS agent who told her she had a tax warrant out for her arrest. The caller claimed that the woman had been audited and owed nearly $12,000 in back taxes, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

She was directed to pay $1,500 so the warrant would be pulled, $5,000 on payments for her taxes, $4,000 for a security deposit for next year’s taxes and $4,000 to remove a “red alert” from her account, the report said.

The woman was told payments by credit or debit card wouldn’t work over the phone and was instead directed to purchase iTunes gift cards. She traveled to multiple stores throughout the day to make the purchases and then gave the numbers to the caller, the report said.

After nearly nine hours of being on the phone, the woman became suspicious when the caller asked for an additional $3,500 to clear the warrant. She refused to give him any more money and ended the phone call. The caller had threatened her with arrest, wage garnishment and damage to her credit score, the report said.

The IRS will not contact people by phone without first having mailed them a bill. During phone calls, the IRS will not demand immediate payment, ask for credit or debit cards or other specific methods of payment or threaten someone with arrest.

The sheriff’s office is investigating.

Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.