Boardman man falls prey to phone scam - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boardman man falls prey to phone scam

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

A Boardman man fell prey to a phone scam where a caller purports to be from the IRS demanding unpaid tax money.

The man got what looked like a local phone call Wednesday from someone saying to be from the IRS demanding gift cards to pay for owed taxes.

He thought it was legit. He first went to the Boardman CVS pharmacy where he bought $2,000 worth of Google Play gift cards.

The caller was on the phone the entire time. Once the victim bought the gift cards the caller would ask for the barcode numbers on the gift cards. The caller then told the man to go to Walmart and buy two more $1,000 gift cards and read the barcodes.

The victim was then instructed to go to Target in Boardman to buy more gift cards. When he did, the cashier kind of casually asked him what the gift cards were for. The victim said he owed money to the IRS. The cashier quickly told the man it was a scam. He then called Boardman police.

But the damage was already done though, he was already out over $4,000.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office tells older Ohioans to just hang up when you get calls like this.

"If you owe them money, or owe a fine, you would get a written notice. It would not just be a phone call," said Sylvia Pla-Raith, from the Ohio Attorney General's office.

Beverley Laubert, interim director of the Ohio Department of Aging, said, "Never give them your account number, Social Security number, your Medicare number. If you don't know who they are don't give them anything that's personal."

You might ask how could someone fall for this?  Isolation could be a cause. 

"If someone is isolated. their health declines at the same rate as someone who smokes 15 cigarettes a day. So loneliness is a problem," added Laubert.

 If you are older and live alone, visit a senior center often and just interact with people.  Ask questions. It can literally be good for your health. 
 

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