When a 59-year-old Sonoma woman got a phone call from the IRS, telling her she owed $10,688 in back taxes from “previous mis-filings,” she was instantly intimidated.
The agent on the phone warned her she had one hour to resolve the issue or police would come to her house and arrest her. The agent, who said his name was David Meyers, then told her she could clear the tax penalty by paying an attorney $2,000 to resolve the case. He instructed her to leave the house and buy four Green Dot MoneyPaks, pre-loadable cash cards on sale at numerous retailers including CVS and Rite Aid.
The woman did as instructed, putting $500 on each MoneyPak card, then called back David Meyers and gave him the numbers on the cards, which can be converted into immediate cash.
The woman then got suspicious and called police, who quickly determined that the call was fraudulent. They tracked the card numbers to a bank account and then sought a court order to open records on that account. During the investigation they discovered that the phone number used by “David Meyers” was the subject of numerous previous complaints.
The scam has reportedly been used actively across the country in recent weeks, despite the fact that the Green Dot website warns, “Use your MoneyPak number only with businesses on our approved list. If anyone else asks for your MoneyPak number or information from your receipt, it’s probably a scam ... Green Dot is not responsible for paying you back ... The funds are not insured against loss.”