Fraudulent IRS call costs woman $2,500

OKEECHOBEE — A 39-year-old-Okeechobee woman was the victim of a fraud Wednesday morning.

According to an incident report by Deputy Matthew Huffman, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), at approximately 7:50 a.m. on March 28, he responded to the 500 block of Northwest Fourth Street in regard to a fraud complaint.

The complainant informed Deputy Huffman that an individual called identifying themselves as “Mark” from the “IRS” (Internal Revenue Service). Mark then supposedly told the woman that she owed $2,574 for her taxes from the years 2012 through 2016. The woman maintained contact with the individual known as Mark and other “employees” of the “IRS” who informed her that if she did not pay promptly a warrant would be issued for her arrest.

In fear of the arrest warrant being issued she made arrangements to pay the “IRS” who told her to do it via Google Play money cards. The complainant did as instructed and was able to purchase the $2,500 in Google Play money cards from businesses in Okeechobee.

The complainant then received a confirmation number after she provided payment to the “IRS” and that most correspondence took place from phone number 240-800-6986.

The report concluded that the woman was assured that a report would be generated of the incident and that she should cease any further contact with the individuals involved. Deputy Huffman also informed the woman that the IRS would not utilize Google Play money cards for tax payment and the IRS would not threaten legal action via phone call without making contact by mail.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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