A White House woman was the target of a recent IRS scam that wiped out her entire savings.
Christi Eller’s sister received a call Monday from a man claiming to be an investigating officer with the IRS. The caller said that Eller’s sister owed them back taxes and would be arrested for tax evasion if she didn’t pay the money.
“She was scared, naïve, and fell for the convincing ploy,” Eller said. “My sister has never been in trouble with police and always pays her bills.”
Her sister said the caller was very convincing after providing a fake employee and IRS badge number. The man on the other line continued to say that he tapped the phone lines and warned her to not talk to anyone about the situation.
“She had not heard about the scam and was unaware that this could possibly be a scam,” Eller said.
The scammers convinced Eller’s sister to withdraw money from her bank account Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each time, the sister said the caller would be on the phone the entire time as she stopped at several Walmart’s to transfer the money.
“She sent over three days $22,160 and left her 44 cents in her bank account,” Eller added.
Her sister made 20 different transactions to people with fake names to New Jersey and California. Each transaction was about $1,000 each.
“She feels stupid, but it makes me sad that someone would take advantage of my sister like this,” Eller tearfully said.
Eller learned about the scam after the crooks demanded more money.
“She wanted $9,000 and would try to get a loan if she can’t get the money fast enough,” Eller recalled.
The family has reported the incident to police, the IRS, and the FBI. Eller said she understands they will never get the money back, but she hoped this will be another reminder for people to think twice before complying to a potential scam.
To learn how to avoid IRS scams, click here.