Unpleasant calls from unusual number raise red flags for woman who avoided IRS scam

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A KCK woman is getting the word out, after scammers targeted three of her loved ones in an IRS scam. The Better Business Bureau of Kansas City is getting weekly calls from people who have, or were about to fall prey to scammers.

Experts say scammers usually prey on the elderly, but they aren't the only ones who fell for the scam, according to the BBB.

A series of unpleasant phone calls had Alicia Jones seeing red, as in red flags. It all started with a phone message.

"Don't ignore this message. I'm an IRS agent calling on behalf of the IRS out of Washington D.C.," said Jones about the phone call.

Jones eventually had several conversations with people calling from phone number (703) 828-0419. They claimed to be the IRS fraud department, saying they were doing an audit 2008 - 2012 tax returns.

First, they called asking for her son, who would have been just 11 years old in 2012. When that didn't work, Jones said they went after her elderly parents.

"If they knew anything about the household they would know that tax returns hadn't been filed because of their age in the last two years, and that my son was a minor," said Jones.

She said the caller claimed there was lawsuit pending, and demanded she wire $1,495 within the next 48 hours, or the sheriff would come out and make an arrest.

Jones didn't fall for the IRS scam, but unfortunately, others have fallen for it.

"We have about five or six a week that are either entertaining giving the money away or already have," said Aaron Reese, a manager of information & media services with Better Business Bureau Kansas City.

Getting your money back is nearly impossible according to Reese.

"If the IRS does contact you about paying taxes, they are never going to call you and demand and immediate payment. If they do contact you by phone, you will always receive a bill in the mail first," Reese continued.

He says most scammers won't trick you with an elaborate scheme, they'll try to scare you into paying. If you get a call, hang up and the IRS yourself to find out if you really owe money.

Jones said one of the callers got agitated with her, and acted unprofessionally. That's another red flag, according to Reese.

"The IRS isn't going to berate people about not paying taxes and things like that," said Reese.