Couple plays IRS scam call to Target 8

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grandville couple shared a recording with 24 Hour News 8 of a phone crook at work, pretending they’re from the IRS trying to collect money.

“This is Caroline Melo at the Department of Legal Affairs at US Treasury.”

That’s how the call started. The crooks reached out to Jim and Judy Eddy through a phone call, trying to get money. They left a message for the Eddys.

It’s just the kind of call the US Attorney and the IRS warned people about Thursday. The crooks pretend to be from the government. They claim you owe money.

Sometimes, they scare their victims by saying they’re in deep, deep trouble. “He said he was with the IRS and had a warrant for my arrest,” Jim Eddy said.

“The first thing he said I need to confirm your social security number and said I never give my social security number to anybody,” Judy Eddy said.

The Eddys saw it as a scam right away. “I said you do what you want. I’m not gonna deal with you,” Jim said.

The crook’s phone number traces back to the Toledo area, but it could have come from anywhere. Phone crooks often use fake numbers.

24 Hour News 8 wanted to talk to the scammers and tried to call the number that appeared on the Eddy’s caller ID on Friday, but got a voice message Friday saying the number was not accepting any phone calls.

The Eddys told the crooks to get lost. But the couple understands how callers can scare people into giving up their cash.

“I’m thinking as a single woman…if I was home by myself and he wasn’t here and my daughter wasn’t handling all our affairs, I might say ‘What do you mean? I’ll just send it to you so we could be done with this.’ I don’t want to go any further and I can see some people doing that. Especially older people; especially older women and that scares me,” Judy said.

“When somebody calls and threatens to arrest you, it does tend to get your attention,” Jim said.

Phone crooks usually demand payment right away using a debit card. The IRS says that’s how you know they’re the crooks and not the real IRS because real IRS agents never ask for debit cards.

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