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Theft By Deception / IRS Scam

DATE & TIME: 11-29-2018 @ 12:05 pm

LOCATION: Adams/Beatrice, Nebraska

OFFENSE: Theft By Deception / IRS Scam

CASE #: 2018-5977

A resident of Adams, Nebraska was working in Beatrice when she received a phone call from a male purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The suspect identified himself as a “Mr. Brown” and informed the victim a warrant had been issued for her arrest for fraudulent tax filings and she owed $2,986.73, however she could pay $1,000.00 today and set up a payment plan to pay off the rest. He then told her she could not hang up the phone or notify anyone else, otherwise she would be immediately arrested. She described him as speaking English, but having an accent similar to a person from India.

He directed her to go to Wal-Mart and purchase Google Play cards and provide the payment numbers on the back to him, which she initially resisted, and hung up, however then she received another phone call from a bogus “911” number with a female identifying herself as Jessica from the sheriff’s office, telling her she had a warrant for her arrest. The victim states Jessica had an accent as well, similar to someone from India. She went into Wal-Mart, but was able to only purchase two $50.00 cards for a total of $100.00. The suspect then told her to go to Dollar General and to not tell anyone about the warrant or what she was doing.

The victim stayed on the phone with the suspect and drove to the Gage County Sheriff’s Office where she met an investigator. The investigator spoke with the suspect for a few moments and was able to assure the victim the caller was a fraud and after the investigator confronted the suspect, the suspect hung up. The victim stated the suspect was very convincing, and brazen, telling her she seemed like his sister, he knew she did not want to get into trouble, and seemed confident in his statements.

The Gage County Sheriff’s Office assures residents that at no time will they ask for a person with a warrant to make payments via Google Play or any other gift card, nor will any government agency accept payment for a warrant or other government service that way. Remain calm, even if they tell you to not notify anyone else, contact a family member, either via text while still on the phone with the suspect, or hang up and call a friend, the sheriff’s office, or local police department or other trusted professional, such as a local banker. 

If you believe you are being scammed, contact your local police department or call the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak with an investigator.

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903

Investigator T. Hanson #90310