Elderly Scam #2 – Pay the IRS with Gift Cards

scam alert logoScamming the elderly out of their money is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. In an effort to make people – parents, children, grandchildren, siblings – more aware of the devious attempts by strangers, friends and relatives to prey on the elderly, I plan to post all of the scams I become aware of.

An elderly person received a voice mail message from the “IRS.” When she called the telephone number back, the “IRS Agent” gave his name and badge number. He told the elderly person that she owed $8,000 in tax money for the prior two years and if she didn’t pay immediately, then the “IRS Agent” would send the local police to her house to arrest her and to seize her property. She was instructed to go to the bank and withdraw $8,000 and then go to a local retail store to buy $8,000 in gift cards. The woman complied. The “IRS Agent” had her read off the gift card numbers and put her on hold while he obtained a confirmation number. After 30 minutes, he came back on the line and said she owed $12,000 more. She went back to the bank, and thank goodness for an astute bank teller, who told her it was a scam and to call the police. Unfortunately, when the police called the gift card company to see if funds remained on the gift cards, there was no money left on the cards.

The suspects used a phone app that made it look like the IRS was calling. Please know that the IRS does not contact you by telephone. The IRS deals with a taxpayer by mail. You can call the IRS, but they do not call you.


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