Local woman loses $4,500 in IRS scam

A Johnson County woman lost $4,500 to an IRS scam after a caller convinced her to purchase gift cards to pay off a debt and avoid being arrested.

The woman received a phone call Tuesday evening in which she was told she had an outstanding warrant for her arrest from the IRS stemming from an unpaid debt to them. The woman was instructed to go to Target and purchase $1,500 in gift cards, a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report said.

When her debit card was declined at Target, she was instructed to go to Best Buy, where she ended up purchasing more than $4,500 in gift cards. She read the numbers off the back of the card to the caller, the report said.

The woman believed the scammer because the person had her social security number, passport number and knew the amount of children she had, the report said.

The IRS will not call someone to demand immediate payment, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, threaten to immediately bring in police to arrest someone or ask for taxes to be paid without giving a chance to appeal or question the amount, the agency says on its website.

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