IRS scam fail

YUMA, Ariz. – Tax season is over but phone scammers are still at it. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) representatives are calling residents in Yuma asking for payments over the phone for false debt. Sherry Schafer is one victim who was smart to realize she was dealing with thieves when they called her house.

“He said he was with the IRS and I said, ‘Why are you calling?’ and he says, ‘You owe back taxes.’.” says Schafer.

Schafer says this isn’t the first time someone’s called her acting as an IRS official. She says just a couple of days ago a con-artist failed when he called asking for $3,000 in payment from her. On top of that Schafer says, he also threatened her with some serious consequences if she didn’t pay right there and then.

“He said, ‘Well then a man will come to your home with papers and things for you to sign.’ says Schafer, “And he said, ‘If it gets to the point where they will prosecute, they can take your car, your home, all your personal possessions, your checking, your credit card, even your driver’s license.”

That’s what gave it away according to Schafer. She says now she wants to share her story to make sure you don’t fall for these tele-criminals. United Way of Yuma is also working on keeping you ahead of these thieves with some tips for you to avoid getting scammed.

“The IRS is never going to solicit someone by phone, or by e-mail, so if the IRS contacts you it’s always going to be by mail.” says Karina Jones who works for United Way.
The important thing to remember is to never share personal information over the phone says Jones.

“That’s really what they are fishing for is that personal information, even something basic, like your name debit card, address, none of that.” says Jones.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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