Victim Turns Tables On IRS Scam, Gets Apology In The Process

Aric Mitchell

An IRS scam attempt didn't end the way the scammers had planned.

When Sarah Carr received a voice-mail from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), she immediately grew apprehensive.

That apprehension was compounded when she got into the contents of the voice-mail, which indicated that she, an owner of three businesses, was being charged with tax fraud and that there was a lien on one of her properties.

The only options she had, according to the scammer? Pay up or go to jail.

Carr told 9 News that she called back immediately.

"He started to give me my personal information," she said, adding that he knew her address.

"I just start crying," Carr said. "I said, 'I'm nine months pregnant. I'm supposed to have a baby in three weeks. I don't know what I'm going to do.'"

Like the great George Costanza before her, she had no idea the tears would actually work, but work they did.

In fact, the combination of being pregnant and genuinely terrified triggered a rare moment of conscience in the IRS scam artist, and he immediately came clean.

"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 OK. We're scamming you. We were just trying to get money out of you. Please stop crying.'"

As for the actual perpetrators of the effort to defraud Sarah Carr and her businesses, there has been no headway on bringing the scammers to justice.

Carr admits that she is relieved the tears worked and that she isn't facing the threat of jail or hefty fines, but what she found most surprising (and disturbing) about the case was how much the scammer knew about her.

"You hear about scams all the time, and you think that you're smart enough and you would recognize," Carr said to 9NEWS. "It was all just so real."

It's also interesting what this case implies about the average person's trust in the IRS. Here you have someone who did nothing wrong, yet she still feels utter terror and frustration. Even though her hands were clean, her first instinct wasn't "this is a scam," but "this is totally happening."

What do you think about how Carr handled the IRS scam? What should happen to the scammers, if caught? And what do you think this story says about the Internal Revenue Service as a whole? Sound off in the comments section.