A 20-year-old Black River Falls woman was swindled out of nearly $3,300 in a scam where a man claimed she owed the money to the Internal Revenue Service.
The incident was reported by the woman’s cousin last month after the victim turned over $3,286 via gift cards because the perpetrator said via phone she owed the IRS back taxes, according to the Black River Falls Police Department report.
A BRF police officer talked to the male perpetrator posing as a friend of the victim and noted the man had a “heavy accent” and threatened to have the officer arrested because he was “obstructing” the process, according to the report.
The woman provided the money through numbers on gift cards purchased at Dollar General and was told she owed an additional $7,000 after she turned over the first $3,300, according to the report.
The incident comes a little more than a year after the sheriff’s department warned area residents about the prevalence of scams in the wake of an elderly town of Albion man turning over $20,000 in an over-the-phone scheme.
Black River Falls Police Chief Dave Frederick said the department doesn’t receive many reports of scams, but cases tend to be more associated with elderly victims rather than young adults, he said.
Frederick said anyone who suspects they have been contacted by a perpetrator or have been a victim of a scam shouldn’t hesitate to contact police.
It never hurts to ask questions,” he said. Don’t just (provide money).