Elderly woman almost falls victim to IRS phone scam, issues warning

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 17:17:54-04

NEWAYGO, Mich. -- Chris Devroy, 76, said she took a call Wednesday morning from a man claiming to be with the IRS. He accused her of tax fraud from 2012.

"He got really belligerent with me," Devroy said. "He got demanding. He said that if I didn't get this money to him immediately, that there would be somebody at my door in 15 minutes with a warrant for my arrest."

She said she was "scared. He had me crying." Devroy said the caller demanded she send him $2,500 or else.

"I don't want to go to jail. I got my dog, and I can't go to jail," she said.

The retired senior citizen only had $600 in the bank and $300 cash.

Following the caller's instructions, Devroy withdrew the money and took $900 to the Family Dollar in Newaygo.

"And I was supposed to go in there and get two iTunes cards," she explained.

It's a good thing the caller stayed on the phone with her because an employer overheard Devroy's conversation and took action.

Devroy recalled the employees words to her, "She says, is it the IRS? I say 'yeah.' I says he's on the phone right now.' That young girl took the phone out of my hand, and she hollered at him. She did more than holler at him. And she told him to never call back."

FOX 17 wanted to feature the Family Dollar employees who intervened, but they couldn't interview because of corporate policy.

FOX 17 also called the alleged scammer.  He hung up just like he did to the Family Dollar employee.

"I appreciate them. That's going to be my favorite store from now on," Devroy chuckled.

On its website, the IRS says the agency will never call you. Instead, they'll send you an official letter in the mail.