ST. LOUIS - It's a pervasive shake-down taking place across the country and the IRS warns the IRS impersonator scam is as strong as ever.
It also remains one of the most common scams you tell NewsChannel 5 on Your Side about. Almost every week, sometimes several times a week, viewers let Mike Rush know the scammers are at it again, trying to scare you into thinking you owe the IRS and need to send money and share private information to make it right.
Jeanne Jones got one of those calls. It was someone claiming to be with the IRS with bad news.
“All this money that I owe from 2002, 2003 and last year,” she said.
Two-thousand bucks is the total the person said she owed. Jones knew it wasn't right, but she wasn't exactly in her right mind.
“I was still on some drugs,” she said. Jones was recovering from a broken back and just out of a body cast.
Even so, the Dogtown resident did not give up her social security number or pay by phone, which led to a threat.
“You don't cooperate, we are going to have the sheriff come out and put you in jail,” she recalled the caller saying.
The caller eventually hung up and Jones called NewsChannel 5 on Your Side.
“I called you because I wanted you to know that it was happening again, you know, it was coming back around,” she said.
Thousands of people have fallen for this scam, losing millions of dollars.
Remember, the IRS will never call you to demand immediate payment or talk about taxes owned without having first mailed you a bill.
It also won't ask for credit or debit card information over the phone or threaten to have law enforcement come to arrest you.