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IRS scam robs victims of $23 million

Police say the con making a comeback in Tampa
Posted: 6:28 PM, Oct 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-17 18:28:49-04

Taking care of CJ the horse she rescued allows Sherrie Gorthy to focus on something other than the cancer and the chemo. She never imagined things could get worse and then this summer she got the call.

It was a man who identified himself as an IRS agent complete with a badge and case number. He informed Gorthy she was behind on her taxes to the tune of $2,700.

The government estimates more than 4,000 people in 50 states have lost a total of $23 million to this scam. Hillsborough Consumer Protection Chief Eric Olsen says complaints continue to pour in.

This cancer patient was no match for the caller who convinced Gorthy she'd face arrest if she didn't pay back taxes. Gorthy’s elderly father paid via $2,000 worth of iTunes gift cards that can be used the same as cash. As soon as you give the number on the back to someone it is the same as handing over money.

The fake agent that robbed Gorthy’s family actually answered our call and maintained he was a real agent doing his job before hanging up the phone.

The IRS never calls people over tax issues. If you get one of these calls just hang up. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov .