by Jason Lamb
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Investigators in Rutherford County have been warning residents about a brazen new phone scam that recently cost a Middle Tennessee woman nearly $18,000.
Officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department said when the victim picked up her phone, the person on the other end of the line claimed to be an IRS agent who demanded she pay thousands of dollars in back taxes. As part of the scam, someone pretending to be a Rutherford County Sheriff's Deputy then called her saying she would be arrested if she didn't pay up.
Both calls “spoofed” the phone numbers of the IRS and the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, so their real numbers showed up on the victim's caller ID.
In the end, the woman turned over nearly $18,000 to the suspects on reloadable debit cards. The Rutherford County Sheriff said these kind of scams hurt the sheriff's office as a whole.
“It's really despicable for someone to do that,” said Sheriff Robert Arnold. “It erodes away the trust people have in law enforcement in general when they think they're talking to a law enforcement official, and they're not.”
Murfreesboro police said whoever did this may have more victims in the Middle Tennessee area who may be too embarrassed to report the crime. Anyone who has been a victim, or has information should contact the Murfreesboro Police Department or Rutherford County Sheriff'd Office.