A Denver woman who received a call from IRS scammers decided to take matters into her own hands and turn the tables on them.
“I wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine,” Rachel Fitzsimmons told KCNC-TV.
[sharequote align=”center”]”I wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine.”[/sharequote]
According to the local CBS affiliate, scammers earlier this month left voicemail messages for the woman claiming to be law enforcement officials collecting unpaid taxes. The unidentified individuals said if Fitzsimmons didn’t pay up, she could face legal action or arrest.
“I was really scared,” she told KCNC. “I never had someone say they were filing a lawsuit against me, especially the IRS.”
That’s when Fitzsimmons decided to do some research. After a few Google searches, she realized that she was being targeted by scammers. She decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others don’t fall for the scam.
Fitzsimmons called the number the scammers left for her in messages and recorded the entire conversation with the aim of putting the footage online.
A man who identified himself as “officer David Miller” told Fitzsimmons that she had likely made a “miscalculation” when she filed taxes and would need to pay more than $1,000 immediately. Fitzsimmons played along, even pretending she would pay the money.
[sharequote align=”right”]“I was just like, how could he be doing this to so many Americans who work hard for their money?”[/sharequote]
After being transferred to a “supervisor,” Fitzsimmons turned the tables on the scammers.
“I actually work for the IRS,” she said, even though she does not. “And this kind of thing doesn’t happen so I guess I’m just confused.”
“Do you realize that you guys are taking money from innocent people?” she continued.
“No, ma’am,” the man on the phone replied.
“You know, I actually know what you guys are doing, but it’s not fair to —” Fitzsimmons countered before the scammer hung up the phone on her.
“I was just like, how could he be doing this to so many Americans who work hard for their money? I’m just thinking, how could you do this to nice people?” Fitzsimmons said.
According to KCNC, the IRS has received more than 20,000 similar reports in the past 15 months regarding similar scams. Those who receive the calls are asked to contact the Treasury Inspector General.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter