Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

IRS Scam Backfires When Scammers Target Cop Specializing in Phone Scams

For a few years now, phone scammers have been conning people out of their money by claiming to be the IRS. While there are numerous variations on how the scam works, most recently the scammers have been threatening to have their victims arrested if they do not pay-up within a certain period of time. Frequently they ask for payment to be made via the hottest untraceable currency: gift cards.

While various criminal enterprises perpetrating these phone scams have been busted, scammers nevertheless persist. If you've never received a call from one of these scammers, don't think for a second that you are immune. Proof of the fact that scammers are really just dialing blindly surfaced this week when a Wisconsin police officer who educates seniors about phone scams was targeted, with comical results.

Viral Video for Educational Purposes

The officer that received the call threatening to have him arrested if he didn't pay up decided to play along and video record the call for educational purposes, despite not attempting to investigate further or press charges. Since going public with the video, just a few days ago, it has gone viral and been viewed close to 5 million times.

During the call, the officer asks some direct questions and receives unclear and evasive answers, however, he also receives some rather direct information too. When the officer was told that he would be arrested, before being asked for his address, he asked the logical question: How are you going to arrest me if you don't know my address? And, surprisingly, I mean, you can't script this stuff, the scammer responds that the warrant will be downloaded to the local sheriff's office. At that point, the officer's boss appears on the video, jokingly holding a pair of handcuffs.

However, when the officer asked for the scammers name and badge number, this information was given with just a little hesitation. And when the officer stated that he would call his local IRS branch to confirm the information, he was told that he could do so, but that the IRS branch would not know exactly who they (the scammers) are, but could confirm other information.

The video is a great example that should be shared with those you might think are susceptible to be conned.

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