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Watch Out For Phone Fraudsters Posing As Cops, IRS Agents

Seattle police are investigating a new series of threatening phone calls from fraudsters, who are posing as police or IRS agents in an attempt to scare their victims into falling for their scam.

On Thursday, March 20th, a woman received several phone calls from as many as three different men, who identified themselves as Seattle police officers and claimed they had a warrant for the victim for “unpaid taxes.”

In the first call—which came from an out of state number—one of the suspects said the victim could pay $1,900 with her credit card to cancel the warrant or  have police come to her home and arrest her.

The victim did not provide the suspect with a credit card number.

The victim later received a second call from a man, claiming to be the first suspect’s supervisor. This time, the scammers demanded $2,900 to quash the fabricated warrant. Again, the victim refused.

The suspects kept calling and, in one final phone call, demanded $5,000. Again, the victim refused to pay the man and later called 911 to report the strange series of phone calls.

Police also received two other similar reports on Thursday, including one from a man who said a suspect claiming to be a US Treasury Agent called him said he needed to pay his 2010 federal income tax. The victim told the suspect he’d already paid his 2010 taxes, hung up, and called police.

In September police investigated a series of similar calls, in which a suspect posing as a Seattle police officer conned a man out of $600 worth of “Green Dot Moneypak” reloadable debit cards, which are frequently used in fraud cases.

Remember: law enforcement officials will never call you and demand payment for back taxes, a warrant fee or any other sort of bill over the phone.

If you or someone you know has been targeted in a similar scam, please call 911 to make a report or contact SPD’s Fraud Unit at (206) 684-8981.