With a simple phone call, scammers posing as IRS officials are stealing money from people all over the United States. As of this week, Sioux Falls is the latest on the list.
A woman told Sioux Falls Police that someone claiming to be with the IRS called, trying to get ahold of her son.
"He said her son made some type of IRS violation and there were some pending federal charges. He told her if she gave them some money, he could make the charges go away," Clemens said.
The scammers got away with $3,900 of the woman's money. Here is how. Clemens said they told her to load it onto re-loadable debit or green dot cards. After that, they told her to give them the numbers on the cards.
"If they've requested to go get a green dot card, or a re-loadable card, that should be the first clue this is a scam," Clemens said.
The likelihood of getting the money back is slim.
"Obviously, once you or I give someone a pre-loaded debit card, there is no way to get it back," Karen Connelly, IRS spokesperson, said.
Connelly said these scammers are very convincing. They give out fake names, fake IRS badges and have even found a way to make "IRS" pop up on your caller I.D. Though this scam has been on the radar since October, Connelly said this is the first report from Sioux Falls she has heard about.
"When the scam first started, we heard of a lot of recent immigrants being targeted. We thought maybe because they may not know how the tax laws work. They may not know the IRS won't call them directly. These sorts of things," Connelly said.
The IRS is keeping an eye on this scam. Until the culprits are caught, Connelly said if someone calls and does this to you, hang up. From there, report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrations at 1-800-366-4484. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.