Con artists claiming to be from IRS are targeting military veterans

New York City field office for the IRS. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Scam artists, claiming to be from the IRS, are targeting members of the military, and one vet is now warning others not to fall for the phony call that may have cost him thousands of dollars.

70-year-old Donald Churchill of Olathe, Kansas told FOX4 News that someone called him from a DC area code on Tuesday telling him he owed the government thousands of dollars in back taxes. They also said if he did not pay immediately, he’d be hauled off to prison.

Churchill – who may have been a little skeptical at first- started to think the call was legitimate when the person on the other end began talking about details of his life only the government could know.

Churchill, who served 3 years in the Army during Vietnam, says the caller knew about his military service and about where he’d worked.

“The man tells you, ‘I know what you were doing in March of 2012,'” Churchill said. “You think, ‘Ok.’ He told me other things about myself and my family and I’m thinking, ‘how do you know this?’ I’m beginning to think to myself, ‘maybe this is legit.'”

He was told to buy prepaid credit cards and  “load them with thousands of dollars.” Churchill mailed the cards to a US Treasury Department address, which appeared to be valid. Before he did that, however, he gave the caller all the card numbers and security information that was on them.

Experts in the field urge potential victims to ignore calls like this. They say most likely if the IRS contacts you about owing money, and it’s legit, it will be via mail, not over the phone.

Churchill has filed a complaint with the Johnson County District Attorney.  There have apparently been similar scams reported to local police by other  veterans in the area.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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