Superior Man Fights Back Against Fake IRS Agents
A phone scam claiming to be the IRS is targeting residents in the Northland.
One Superior man actually stayed on the phone for over two hours, basically playing dumb, and acting as if he were truly doing everything the scammers asked him to do. The best part? He filmed the whole thing.
“The nature of this call, Mr. Williams, is to make you aware that there has been a lawsuit filed against your name by the IRS for tax fraud. Are you aware of that?”
Ryan Williams, of Superior, has received calls for the past two weeks from a California number. Knowing it was a scam, he pressed play on his GoPro and played the part.
“Oh wow, how much is it? I’m in serious trouble here,” Williams told the scammer who was on the other line claiming to be an IRS agent.
The so–called agent told Williams he owed the IRS over $5,000 based on fraudulent tax returns dating back 5 years ago.
The scammer said if he didn’t pay right away, his assets would be frozen and a warrant would be issued for his arrest.
“Once we release your arrest warrant, your driver’s license will be cancelled and everything under your name like your property, your bank account, and your house — everything’s going to be seized,” the scammer said.
Williams said he was directed to go to the bank, withdraw money and then go to Target and purchase gift cards with the amount owed.
“Sir, you have to complete all of the procedure in 5 minutes, OK,” the scammer said.
“In five minutes, my phone is going to be dead, I got to do it in three minutes. My phone is going to be dead,” Williams responded.
“Then, you’re going to jail,” the scammer responded.
Just a few minutes later, the scammer had enough and disconnected with Williams after two hours on the phone.
“Don’t fall for the scam. If you have any relatives out there that are old, they are trying to target the older people — 80s or so. Let them know don’t fall for it,” says Williams.
Duluth Police Information Officer Ron Tinsley said the IRS will never call you for money.
“The IRS is not going to make phone calls to you — period, and … you’re going to usually get something in the form of a letter stating what you owe and how to rectify the situation,” Tinsley said.
Tinsley also said the IRS will never require a specific method of payment, especially gift cards.
If you think a call seems suspicious, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission’s web site — or just simply hang up.