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Woman scammed by man claiming to be IRS

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A Stafford woman was conned out of $2,600 this week by an unknown caller who claimed to be with the Internal Revenue Service, police said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy said the woman, who is in her 40′s, reported getting a recent call in which the caller left a message. The woman returned the call and left her own message, and the con man reached her on the phone Monday.

The man, who had what the victim described as a foreign accent, told her she owed the IRS $100,000 in back taxes and would be arrested by the Stafford Sheriff’s Office is she didn’t pay it immediately. After the woman told him she didn’t have that kind of money, the caller agreed to settle her debt for $1,700.

The woman was directed to put money on a Reloadit card, a type of card that is used to add money to prepaid debit cards. The woman later sent the numbers from the card that enabled the caller to cash it. He then told her that she also needed to pay a $900 fine to avoid jail.

After paying that as well, Kennedy said the woman contacted a relative who informed her that the IRS would not collect money in that manner. She notified the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday.

Kennedy said there have been several similar scams in the area in recent months and he once again reminded residents that neither the IRS nor especially the Sheriff’s Office collect money via phone calls. He also said the Sheriff’s Office never arrests people for not paying federal taxes; it was not clear if this victim actually owed taxes.

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