Action 9: Charlotte woman out thousands after receiving fake IRS calls

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A Charlotte woman is out thousands after receiving calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS.

Suthar Shanta's son said they called her several times, including between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. one day recently.

"Basically it is both men and women. Usually men call, but it could be a woman as well," said Samir Shanta.

He said the callers posed as IRS officials and used common names like "John Smith or something like that," said Samir.

He said they knew personal information about Suthar.

"Somehow they knew the names of the children, as well," said Samir.

He said they told Shanta she owed taxes and that if she did not pay she would lose her job and go to jail.

 "Yeah, if you do not pay them the amount that they are talking about, then the cops will come arrest you," said Samir.

She fell for it. The police report that she filed said she sent $4,000.

Action 9 tweeted a warning about this scam last month, when state and federal officials both contacted Action 9.

They said callers tell taxpayers they need to pay using credit card, pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, and that if you do not you could be arrested, deported or lose your driver's license.

The callers may use fake caller IDs to look legitimate, follow up by email to back up the bogus claims or even know the last four numbers of your Social Security number.

Action 9 asked the Social Security Administration's Tracy Lynge how the wrong people get that information.

"A lot of times the source of the identity theft is the consumers themselves unknowingly," she said.

She said people use that number online, but while a lot of groups and agencies require your Social Security number, many don't – so if somebody asks you for it,"Ask them if you can use a different type of identifier, a lot of times, especially today, companies will use an alternative identifier."

Even so, Lynge said if you get a call remember Samir's advice.

"Basically hang up. It is a fake, prank, fraud call," said Samir.

If you do get one of these calls do not give the caller any personal information or money, and contact the attorney general or police.