Scam artists are impersonating IRS agents to con senior citizens out of their money, according to a recent report from the U.S. Treasury Department. The fraud scheme is said to be the largest scam in IRS history, with more than 5,000 victims having been fleeced out of approximately $30 million so far.
The scammers prey on elderly people and instruct their victims to transfer large amounts of money or risk being hit with legal action. Some of the scammers even use celebrity names, like Steve Martin, when placing the phone calls.
One recent victim, a retired man living in New Hyde Park, NY, got a call from a person claiming to be from the Treasury Department. The con artist threatened the victim with “court action” and “magistrates.” The victim believed that he would be “locked up” if he failed to pay off what he supposedly owed, so he sent the requested money to the scammer.
Fraudulent Money Transfers at Walmart
The scammers typically follow the same routine: they call the elderly victim, threaten some kind of IRS enforcement action and then provide the victim with detailed instructions on how to complete a money transfer at a nearby Walmart.
Walmart officials have already indicated that they plan to take extra security measures to ensure that customers are informed about these types of scams. Store employees are being trained on how to be on the lookout for warning signs of a scam.
Keep in mind that the IRS never makes these types of harassing phone calls. So if you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS or the Treasury Department and demanding that you make immediate payment on taxes owed, you should immediately contact the Treasury Department Inspector General and report the possible threat.
For more information about this IRS scam, view the CBS New York article, “IRS Impersonators Scamming Seniors out of Tens of Millions.”
If you believe that you’ve been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous person, you need a qualified consumer fraud attorney who will fight for your rights. The experienced consumer fraud attorneys at Posternock Apell, PC will protect you against fraud, unfair debt collection or any other type of deception in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation.