Close call with IRS scam

Close call with IRS scam

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls woman came close to falling for yet another IRS scam this week and she reached out to Newschannel 6 to warn others.

On Wednesday as Crystal Klein drove home from work she received a call on her cell phone from a phone number from Washington, D.C.

The person on the other end claimed to be with the IRS and gave Klein a badge number and told her she had been giving fraudulent information on her taxes for the last five years.

"I've had a professional do my taxes every year, so there shouldn't be anything wrong," Klein said.

But the man on the phone would not give up. She asked how much she owed and the man told her $3,950.

"I said, 'okay can you not show me or mail me proof all the information stating that I had done this?' He said no. 'He said if you're going to fight it then you're going to owe $49,000 and court costs and you're going to go to jail for three years," Klein said.

In fear of what might happen, Klein told the man on the line that she did not want to fight, but she wanted to know what was going on.

"He said, 'then I'm going to get in touch with the police department and let them know to come pick you up.'" Klein said.

During the call, she received an incoming call that showed the number for the Wichita Falls Police.

"He said, 'well they're calling you to find out if you're home so they can come and pick you up,'," Klein said.

The caller then told Klein if she could not come up with $500 within 45 minutes then he would call the police to come pick her up.

She also received a text from who she thought was from the IRS with a case number and the amount she supposedly owed.

"I mean it looks pretty official," she said.

When she got home and told her husband, she called her son and both told her this situation did not seem right. Per their advice, she hung up the phone and called the police. They let her know she did not have any warrants and she was not the first person to call and let them know of this scam.

"She had told me they had over 60 calls within the last couple months of people being scammed like this and being really scared," Klein said.

Klein is worried elderly people in Texoma could fall for this scam.

"My mother-in-law is elderly. If this happened to her, she would pay. Or she would try to, because, I mean, he was so convincing," Klein said.

The IRS has tips to spot suspicious calls on its website. Also, the BBB has a Scam Tracker where you can report scams going on in your area to warn others. The IRS does not use unrequested email, text messages or social media to discuss your personal tax issue.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6
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