MOUNT HOLLY SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) – A Cumberland County woman was scammed out of $2,300 and would have given the con-artist $1,700 more if Target employees hadn’t stopped her, police said.
The 64-year-old Mount Holly Springs woman received a call Friday from someone claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service. She was told she was facing criminal charges and that local sheriffs were on their way to arrest her, borough police said.
The woman was instructed to go to a local convenience store and purchase six $50 iTunes gift cards, return the phone call, and provide the serial numbers. When she did so, police said the woman next was told to go to the Target in Carlisle, purchase 20 $100 iTunes cards, and provide those serial numbers.
Police said the woman was then instructed to purchase additional iTunes cards at the Target; three worth $500 and another worth $200. Store employees told her Target does not offer iTunes cards in those amounts and asked why she was buying so many. After she told her story, the Target employees advised her to call police because she had been scammed.
She tried to return the previously purchased gift cards, but the amounts were already withdrawn.
An Adams County lost $9,000 in a similar IRS scam last week.
Police and the IRS have repeatedly warned of phone scams where victims have been threatened with arrest unless they pay a bogus tax bill, usually through prepaid debit cards or wire transfers.
The IRS says it will never call about taxes owed without first mailing a bill, it will never require a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, it will never ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, and it will never threaten to bring in police to have someone arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and you don’t owe taxes, you can report it on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.