Tax trap, scammers prey on unsuspecting taxpayers

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. - An urgent warning from local law enforcement; if you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS,  think twice before you give any information.

A local woman says she almost lost everything Friday morning and it's all because she fell into a tax trap, set by scammers.

Scammer are leaving automated voice messages that say something all of us would love to hear; we're getting a much bigger tax refund than expected. 

Friday morning's would be victim wised up when she learned what she'd have to do to get that refund.  Tonya Wilson almost fell for it.

"It's very believable for someone to call and say there's an error on your taxes," Wilson said.

Plus, 26-hundred extra dollars would really help any mother of two, so she called the number back and spoke with someone claiming to work for the IRS.  The person said if she wanted her money, she'd need to answer a few questions.

"When he asked for banking information, I just, there was no way," Wilson said.

Tonya called the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, the case landed in detective Captain Matt Carter's lap, so he called the number and wouldn't you know he too was owed money, but they asked Carter for a money order first.

"They quickly said they pulled up my account and to receive this information all I'd need to do is send them a payment of 250 dollars," Carter said.

Carter said the scammers, who are likely somewhere overseas, will likely never get caught and will keep calling innocent taxpayers like Tonya, hoping someone falls into their 'tax trap.'

Detective Captain Carter said it's important to note that government agencies or any reputable business will not conduct business like this.  If you are ever asked for your social security number, date of birth, bank account number, or if you're asked to send money in order to get money; it's a scam.

If you have a scheme or ripoff you'd like to share, e-mail us at share@wpsdlocal6.com

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