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A Heartland woman describes how scam artists used the IRS to take advantage of her

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – Kelli Frink bought $7,000 in I-Tunes gift cards. But what she’s hearing over her phone isn’t what she wanted to hear,

“Some guys called me and said they were officers from the IRS and I owed 3-thousand or more for back taxes. They told me there was a warrant that was not yet signed. And if I told anybody, if I lost contact with them. If I hung up that the police would be at my door in 45 minutes,” said Frink.

Frink was scared. Not for herself, but for 2 month old son, Gabriel.

“ I was terrified of my son growing up without me”.

Desperate to stay out of jail, she rushed to Walgreens and then Walmart. Emptying out her savings to pay off agents who she thought were IRS agents, but they were impostors. It was a scam.

“They left me with no money and a two year old”.

Looking back, she realizes there were signs it was a scam.

“I knew the IRS didn’t make phone calls and I still fell for it. “

They did not sound like they were from the IRS.

“One sounded Australian. The other one sounded Spanish.”

Their demands were unusual.

“Looking back. I-Tunes gift cards really?”

In the end, her fear of being separated from her son, made her ignore the red flags.

“They use your fears against you.”

So she’s telling her story, so you don’t fall into the same trap.

“What kind of person could do that to people?”

These types of scams are fairly common over the phone, and some by email. If you encounter a situation like this, it’s recommended that you contact local law enforcement, before you send any money or card information. Even if they claim they are from, a government agency.

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