RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (KOIN) — Scammers are getting more convincing with their efforts to steal money.
Thieves who call pretending to be IRS agents seem to know a lot more about the people they’re trying to scam and create a deep fear, making it seem like the victims are really in trouble with the IRS.
Scammers are targeting middle class families and one local family was hit recently.
Truck driver Robert Clasey got a call on Tuesday while he was on the road. He pulled over to accept the call from what appeared to be a local area code.
“The guy said he was a deputy with the IRS, gave me his name and badge number. He said they audited us from 2010 to 2015 and we owed back taxes and there was a warrant out for my arrest,” Clasey said.
The caller said he owed $5,000 in back taxes. Robert and his wife had owned a small business back then and did their own taxes. It was possible they made a mistake.
Some people might have just hung up, recognizing a scam. But these scammers had one piece of information about Clasey that made him sure it was real.
“They had my social security number,” Clasey said.
The caller said they had sent letters, left a packet at his door and he better pay up. The father of 7 frantically called his wife, asking how much money they had and told her he needed it all.
Sarah Clasey transferred the money, but seconds later when a coworker told her it was a scam — it was too late. Robert had already bought debit cards from Walgreens, as instructed, and given the scammers the card numbers. They lost $500.
The Claseys filed a police report, changed phone numbers and turned over the scammer’s information to the US Treasury Investigation Office.
Some stores will warn people about scams like these, but the scammer told Clasey not to talk to anyone while he was buying the debit cards.
If you get a call from the IRS, say nothing and hang up. Even if the area code looks local, it’s a fake number.