Dubuque woman loses more than $8,000 in scam, warns others - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque woman loses more than $8,000 in scam, warns others

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Dubuque News

    Dubuque News

    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
    Local news and information for Dubuque, Dyersville, Epworth, Peosta, Cascade, Farley, Asbury, Balltown, Luxemburg, New Vienna, Holy Cross, Durango, Sherrill, Dubuque County and the Tri-States area.More >>
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A woman in Dubuque doesn't want her identity known, but she wants her story heard: She lost $8,350 to a scammer claiming to be from the IRS.

It started when she listened to a voice mail on Dec. 18. 

"It stated that I had a lawsuit against me from the IRS, and that I owed $3,900," she said.

She was told to get the money from her bank and put the money on a Reloadit card.

The card functions similar to a gift card, in that you can scratch to reveal numbers on the back, and those numbers are what she gave to the man so he could get the money.

She was also told that a police officer would be watching to make sure she did exactly as they said, or they would take her to jail.

After she did it the first time, she received another call from the same man, claiming that they had gone further into her past with this next audit, and found out she owed $4,450 more. She repeated the process and got the man his money.

She received a third call, this time claiming they had gone even farther back, and this time she owed more than $16,000. She told him she didn't have the money, so he told her to go to the bank and get what she could.  He had demanded to be on the phone with her throughout the entire process.

It was during her third trip to the bank, with phone in hand behind her back, that a teller suspected something. The woman told the teller about her situation, and the teller took the phone and started asking the man questions. He hung up, and was never heard from again.

Police say the numbers he called from are disconnected, and don't belong to any legitimate carriers.

All told, the woman lost $8,350 in the scam.

She said she did it because she was scared.

"They says they were going to take away my house, and take away everything I had if I didn't pay," she said.

Lt. Scott Baxter with the Dubuque Police said it's easy to get freaked out from that type of phone call.

"What you need to do is research any claims against you," he said. "Especially ones involving personal information."

He also said these scams come and go in the community, but they usually aren't the same twice.

"People have to be on their toes because scam artists will change it up a little bit, maybe add a little detail, just to try to trick you into falling for it," Baxter said.

Powered by Frankly