A pregnant woman in Colorado received a phone call from the IRS saying that they’d placed a lien on one of her properties. Except he wasn’t with the IRS, and the lien didn’t exist. He was a scam artist trying to make a quick buck out of the business woman. But, the con-man wasn’t as heartless as you might think; he confessed to the entire con once he heard the woman’s situation.
According to NBC News, Sarah Carr owns three businesses in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. One she received a voice mail from the scam artist telling her she had been convicted of tax fraud and a lien had been placed on one of her properties.
Local News 9 reports the scammer was well prepared. When Carr called him back, he sounded professional and started telling her personal information relating to her businesses, including info on the event venue that the “IRS” put a lien on.
The IRS scam was designed to terrify Carr and get her to agree to outrageous fines to avoid jail time. But she had an entirely different reaction according to NBC affiliate KUSA.
“I just start crying. I said, ‘I’m nine months pregnant…I don’t know what I’m going to do.'”
At that point, the man’s professional facade quickly wore off.
“And then he says, ‘Wait, wait, wait, wait, you’re pregnant?’ and I said, ‘Yes!’ And he goes, ‘I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, this is a scam. You’re okay, we’re scamming you. We were just trying to get money out of you. Please stop crying,'”
Carr was initially relieved that she wasn’t facing charges from the IRS. Then she was shocked and frightened at the scam artist’s in-depth knowledge of her personal finances.
She added “It was all just so real.”
Many people feel like they’re prepared for this kind of an IRS tax scam, but the numbers speak for themselves.
NBC News reports that about 3,000 people have already fallen for this con perpetrated by fake IRS agents, costing them roughly $15.5 million. Treasury deputy inspector general Timothy Camus said it is now the largest IRS tax scam in the agencies history and explained that people in every state have received phone calls or voice mails from the fake IRS tax collectors.
The con artists have in-depth knowledge, even providing the last four digits of peoples’ social security numbers in many cases.
The competence behind the scam makes it particularly difficult to resist, but the IRS has issued some basic guidelines for catching a con man.
They claim that the agency will never demand payment without an opportunity to appeal the amount they say is owed. Likewise, mail reminders always precede actual phone calls, and the IRS will never ask for a specific payment method like a prepaid debit card, or ask for card numbers over the phone.
For some people, talking about being pregnant will prevent a fraud, for the rest of us the IRS has this page dedicated to detecting scams.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]