STAMFORD, Conn. -- A 29-year-old Stamford man was conned by a scam artist, who fleeced him of more than $13,000 in a phony tax payment scheme, police said.
The man got a call Tuesday from someone who said he owed taxes to the federal government and had to pay up or go to jail, police said.
After getting the call at 10 a.m., the man spent the next seven hours doing as the caller instructed, sending thousands of dollars through Reloadit cards and Western Union, police said.
In the scheme, the victims turn over the identification numbers on the Reloadit cards after putting money on them, police said.
Sgt. Steven Perrotta, of the Stamford Police Department's property crimes unit, said the scammers try to keep their victims on the phone and busy sending money so that they won't talk to anyone else who might question the deal.
This scheme took in a second victim: the man's 58-year-old father, who gave his son $5,000 when his son asked for money. It wasn't clear from the police report whether the father knew what his son was going through as he sought thousands of dollars to pay the phony tax bill.
At about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the father called police because his son hadn't returned home and he was worried, police said.
As police were talking to the father, the son returned home and told his father and the officer what had happened. The officer realized it was a fraudulent call and turned the case over to the department's property crimes unit.
The son lost about $8,200, while his father lost the $5,000 he had given his son, police said.
Perrotta said that money is probably overseas and will be difficult to trace. He advised residents that no level of government, including the IRS, will never ask for money in lieu of being arrested. If someone calls claiming you owe money to the IRS, hang up and call the IRS or the police, he said.
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