IRS Scam Artist Targets St. Augustine Resident

May 27, 2015

John Mains from St. Augustine says he got a voicemail from someone claiming to be the IRS. When Mains called the number left behind, he says he was told he had one opportunity to pay or face punishment. When WJCT called the number, the man who answered admitted it was a scam.

  

A St. Augustine man says he’s been the target of a phone scam by people impersonating the IRS.

When WJCT called the number left in a voicemail, a self-admitted scammer picked up the phone.

John Mains says he got a voicemail from someone claiming to work for the IRS. The message said he owes $3,200 in back taxes. When Mains called the number left behind, he says he was told he had one opportunity to pay or face punishment.

Mains said he was told by the person on the phone, “We’re coming out and we’re going to arrest you.”

Mains says he doubted the legitimacy of the call, and contacted his accountant.

His accountant told him it was the fifth time she had been someone had told her that that recently, Mains says.

The number left in Mains’ voice message has a Washington, D.C., area code.

When we call on Wednesday, a man picks up.

The man claims to be with the IRS, but wouldn’t give his name.

But he does admit what he’s been up to.

When asked if he was pulling a scam, the man replied, “Yep. So what? It’s a scam. It’s a big scam.”

He said, “It’s a free country, you can do whatever you want.”

He says he’s part of a team of about 60 people calling from India. This isn’t the first time a Northeast Florida resident has been targeted.

Local police and the IRS have been warning of phone scams for months.