IRS Scam Gets Scary When Scammers Call the Cops

'I was scared for my family's life'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 4:33 PM CST

(Newser) – Scammers took the common IRS ruse to dangerous new heights this week in Colorado Springs, calling in multiple fake emergencies to 911 and causing armed police to surround their victim's daughter, Consumerist reports. Jim Davis received a phone call Monday morning from a man claiming to be an IRS agent, according to KKTV. The caller said Davis owed thousands of dollars in back taxes and threatened him with immediate arrest if he didn't pay up. Scared, Davis went to the bank, where he was informed it was likely a scam. Despite more calls from multiple numbers—including one showing up as the El Paso County Sheriff's Office—Davis refused to pay up, KOAA reports. Then things took an unusual turn.

The perpetrators combined the typical phone scam with the practice of SWATting, which Consumerist explains as calling 911 to report an "armed and dangerous criminal" at a target's home, leading to an armed police raid. The scammers made two 911 calls while posing as Davis: one claiming an armed man was inside the house and another claiming multiple armed men were outside the house. Davis' 20-year-old daughter Amber was home alone when a dozen police cars surrounded the house. A nearby school was even locked down. "I was scared for my family's life," Davis tells KKTV. Unable to be sure if he was talking to scammers or actual officers on the phone, he rushed home to check on his daughter. Police quickly realized it was a scam. They believe the calls originated in another country. (This Ivy League-educated reporter also had a scary experience with the IRS scam.)

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