Elderly woman almost falls victim to IRS phone scam, issues warning

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NEWAYGO, Mich. -- Chris Devroy, 76, said she took a call Wednesday morning from a man claiming to be with the IRS. He accused her of tax fraud from 2012.

"He got really belligerent with me," Devroy said. "He got demanding. He said that if I didn't get this money to him immediately, that there would be somebody at my door in 15 minutes with a warrant for my arrest."

She said she was "scared. He had me crying." Devroy said the caller demanded she send him $2,500 or else.

"I don't want to go to jail. I got my dog, and I can't go to jail," she said.

The retired senior citizen only had $600 in the bank and $300 cash.

Following the caller's instructions, Devroy withdrew the money and took $900 to the Family Dollar in Newaygo.

"And I was supposed to go in there and get two iTunes cards," she explained.

It's a good thing the caller stayed on the phone with her because an employer overheard Devroy's conversation and took action.

Devroy recalled the employees words to her, "She says, is it the IRS? I say 'yeah.' I says he's on the phone right now.' That young girl took the phone out of my hand, and she hollered at him. She did more than holler at him. And she told him to never call back."

FOX 17 wanted to feature the Family Dollar employees who intervened, but they couldn't interview because of corporate policy.

FOX 17 also called the alleged scammer.  He hung up just like he did to the Family Dollar employee.

"I appreciate them. That's going to be my favorite store from now on," Devroy chuckled.

On its website, the IRS says the agency will never call you. Instead, they'll send you an official letter in the mail.

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8 comments

  • Family dollar employee

    I am so glad me and my boss could step in and save this woman from the phone scam! It sickened me that someone could take advantage of elderly lady. It was a matter of being in the right spot at the right time!

  • Mandy

    I rec’d a call myself today. Told the guy he was a fraud and asked what country he was from and told him the IRS would mail a letter. He told me I would be getting a letter then.

  • Ken Sperry

    I got that same call today, and got into it with this person as well. Doesn’t the IRS want the info as to who they are? And if so who can I call with the info I have?

  • Shiloh's Mom

    Does this woman never read or watch the news? This scam has been ALL OVER all types of media (newspapers, internet, Facebook, magazines, TV news, etc.) for a long time now. Some people live in their own little world, pay no attention to anything going on around the world and don’t bother educating themselves with current events. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for her? She needs to turn off Wheel of Fortune and fill her head with more stimulating and educational things. My mother is 96 years old and reads, reads, reads and keeps up with the news every day, and as a result would never fall for this ridiculous scam.

    • Trinity Spirit

      To Shiloh’s mom- How nice of you to blame the victim…I’m sure these creep imposters are very sneaky and abusive..I don’t see in the article where it says she or anyone else wanted her to be felt sorry for-
      Perhaps your “96” year old mother should have taught you to have compassion and patience…
      Since your post seems to exhibit your lack of tolerance as well.
      Thumbs up to the family dollar employee who caught on and knew how to handle that swindler!

      • Shiloh's Mom

        And how did the Family Dollar know about this scam? She PAID ATTENTION to the news and educated herself. Everyone has a responsibility to make an effort to be aware of what is going on in our world. So many people pay absolutely no attention to current events, then wonder why they don’t know anything! And from another point of view, if this woman paid her taxes properly every year and never received any notice before from the IRS that she owed anything, she has nothing to worry about. I can’t get over how this woman actually drained her life savings to buy iTunes cards to pay a tax bill? That is absolutely laughable and ridiculous that ANYONE would take that seriously. Did she even know what an iTunes card is??? We have every right to blame the victim if they are a victim because of their own stupidity and ignorance. This country has fallen so far away from the idea that people should be responsible for their own actions, it is unreal. The mindset nowadays is that everything bad that happens to us is always someone else’s fault.

  • diane hills

    They are calling many many people!!! So many people are getting scammed! They need to put these callers in jail, permanently!!!!!!!!!!!!!