THE INDEPENDENT NEWS
VIRGINIA BEACH – A citizen recently fell for a con in which someone pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service threatened him with jail unless he placed thousands of dollars into a bank account, according to a search warrant.
The con artist told the victim he was in danger of being arrested unless he paid immediately. The brief account of the con is described in a statement by police Detective M.J. Hudgins that was filed on Monday, June 5, as part of a search warrant in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.
It’s one version of efforts by con artists to steal money or personal information that have been around for quite a while. The IRS has released warnings over the years about such scams.
“We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement released by his office in June.
Recent variations include fake tax bills and payments requested via gift, debit or iTunes cards, he wrote.
According to the IRS, here are some warning signs about possible scam:
► The IRS does not use gift cards, wire tranfers or prepaid debit cards to accept payment.
► Payments are made to the U.S. Treasury, not third parties.
► The IRS does not threaten to have people arrested by local law enforcement.
► IRS representatives do not seek credit or debit numbers by telephone.
The IRS warning urges people to hang up and avoid giving out personal information of any kind. People can call (800) 366-4484 to report an attempt to scam them.
In 2016, the Better Business Bureau reported that tax scams led its annual list of the leading scams in the U.S.
The average loss to victims was $5,200, the organization reported in a statement released in January.
In Virginia Beach, the victim deposited $3,800 to a Bank of America account on Tuesday, April 4, according to the sworn statement. The account was in the name of Pedabatu Turkapati, according to the search warrant.
The victim contacted police on Monday, April 10, according to the police report in the fraud case, which said the incident happened in the Acredale area.
According to the warrant, the account was being held to recover funds for the victim in the matter.
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