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IRS scam targeting immigrants comes to Wichita


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WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita's Sandra Graham has been an American citizen for two years now; she moved here from Canada.

So she was concerned when she started receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS, saying she owed taxes dating back to 2008.

He told her the IRS was taking her to court.

"All I had to do is pay 38-hundred dollars to him and I can't do it through the IRS directly," said Graham.

The man did everything he could to keep Sandra on the phone, in a call that would last more than 30 minutes.

And he started making demands. Sandra recorded the conversation. The man urged Sandra to keep him on the phone while she went to the bank to make the withdrawl.

That's a familiar scam tactic. Denise Groene of the Better Business Bureau says scammers try to keep you on the phone, to keep you distracted.

"If they have you on the phone that entire time, they know, one, you're getting the money and going to the bank and it's all good." Groene says. "And two, they can get the wiring information and that GreenDot card and it gives you no time to do your homework."

But Sandra was smart. Though she promised the man she would go to the bank, she hung up and tried to get answers.

She couldn't reach anyone at the IRS, so she called her Canadian accountant, who told her this was a scam.

"It's kind of scary as a new American, because in order for me to get answers to an American problem, I had to call a Canadian," says Graham.

But that hasn't stopped the scammer from calling, another thirteen times. But Sandra, has had enough.

"I said to him, my husband has a gun and we can legally protect ourselves, so if you come here, you will have to deal with him and not me," Graham said.

The Better Business Bureau wants to stress, the IRS will not call you on the phone. They will instead contact you with certified letters sent through the mail. If scammers are able to read back your name, social security number, and address back to you, it's because they paid to get that information.

And finally, if you do get such a phone call, report it to the Better Business Bureau yourself.


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