MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Thieves are getting desperate and continue to seek alternative ways to con innocent people. The IRS phone scam isn’t new, but the phony agents are demanding people put the money on iTunes gift cards.
The fake agents are telling people that they owe thousands of dollars in back taxes. If the victim doesn’t send the money, then the caller threatens them with jail time. Senior citizens are often the target.
A Holland woman told FOX 17 her boyfriend bought $1,000 worth of iTunes gift cards to pay who he thought was an IRS agent.
A similar scam (not using the IRS name) happened just this week in Whitehall, but an employee at Dollar General stopped the transaction. An elderly woman received an urgent, threatening phone call. She almost spent thousands of dollars on iTunes gift cards to send to the caller.
Just a week before that, 76-year-old Chris Devroy nearly did the same thing for a phony IRS agent. She told the FOX 17 Problem Solvers how a Newaygo Family Dollar employee stepped in at the right time and saved her from sending $900 in iTunes gift cards.
“Any time that you receive a phone call from someone that you don’t know and doesn’t have any type of credibility that wants your financial information, some red flags should be going up,” Dean Roesler, the Muskegon County Sheriff said.
Roesler said if you have “someone in your circle that may be a little older and be less technically savvy, definitely watch out for them. Remind them that these things are going on and tell them what to watch for.”
The IRS website states the agency will not call you. Instead, they’ll send you a letter in the mail if they’re trying to reach you.