Nationwide IRS phone scam dialing eastern Iowans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nationwide IRS phone scam dialing eastern Iowans

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MARION (KWWL) -

Fraud artists, calling eastern Iowan's claiming to be IRS agents are trying to rip you out of your hard earned money.

It's a nationwide tax phone scam that's already targeted more than 350,000 people.

"We got a phone call on our answering machine," said Marion resident Tim Shinneman. "Message indicated that we had an income tax debt with the IRS."

Shinneman almost fell victim to this scam.

He says a bogus IRS agent left a message trying to get money, saying if he didn't make immediate payment using a wire transfer or debit card, they'd place a lien on his bank account withing 24 hours.

"When we first got it I thought, 'Oh no, did I miss something?' But once I listened tot he message, it was very poor quality, so I got suspicious," said Shinneman .

Shinneman says he knew something wasn't right, so he got on the phone and called the scammers back, but the calls kept dropping.

KWWL called the number back, got a ten second automated message followed by a busy signal.

The scammers are so bold, they might even know the last 4-digits of your social security number and in some cases threaten to arrest you.

"I called the Marion Police Department," said Shinneman."In fact [my wife and I] did not have and state income tax or federal income tax debt.

The IRS says it will never initiate contact with a taxpayer by phone, email or text message. They say they will never call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill.

The Marion Police Department is aware of the scam and says they've gotten several calls about it.

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