Charleston-area woman warns others about possible phone scam

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD)– It may be a familiar annoyance: Phone calls from people claiming to be with the IRS, demanding money.

Chances are, this is a scam, and people should ignore the calls.

However, Pamela Todd pressed for answers and recorded it.

“I know it’s a scam right off, but just some of the older folks, and the younger in the work force, I just didn’t want them to be taken for it,” said Todd.

Todd shared her recorded conversation with the News 2 I-Team.

The caller states he’s from the IRS and tells Todd she owes money. She says he threatens to send police to her house if she does not pay immediately via credit card.

“You’re calling, and you’re threatening me,” Todd said to the caller.

“I’m not threatening you,” he retorted.

“Yes, you are threatening me,” Todd replied.

“It sounds so official. It can be kind of scary. I just want to get the word out there, don’t fall for this, because they’re asking for large denominations of money,” Todd told us in an interview.

George Garmendia, a CPA in Mt. Pleasant, says the IRS usually doesn’t call people.

“They’ll send a letter, and you’ll recognize that letter,” said Garmendia.

“If you owe taxes, the letter explains why the IRS is saying you owe taxes. Usually the first letter goes out, and it’ll say you reported this, this is what we show, and here’s the difference,” he said.

Although you don’t need to worry too much about the money the caller demands, you should take note if they spout off personal information.

“They could be taking your individual information and speaking from the return,” said Garmendia.

If you do get a similar phone call that worries you, police say you should ask for the employee’s name, badge number, and the call back number. Also, take note of the number on your caller ID.

Then, report the scam to the Treasury Inspector General at 1-800-366-4484.

“There’s been a few phone calls where it’s become a shouting match. ‘You must pay this! You must pay it now!’” said Todd.

Her conversation with the possible IRS imposter comes after numerous calls and voicemails like it.

“I’ve never experienced this before … Annoyance? Definitely. Just to see the 202 area code, it’s like…ugh again?” she said.

The IRS says if you answer once, the scammers may try to call you again using different tactics and even different phone number.

They may also try to reach you by email, which is also likely a scam.

The IRS reminds you it will never ask for personal payment information over the phone or by email.

For more information about how to handle these callers, and other callers like it, click here.

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