A Denton woman turned the tables on a scammer who was pretending to work for the Internal Revenue Service. She called him back and recorded the entire conversation.
"I guess he thought that I wasn't going to do anything about it. Surprise to him, I did something about it," said Haley Cunningam.
For three days, Cunningham received calls and messages from a man claiming to be from the "Investigation Bureau, IRS." The caller stated she owed the agency money and that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
"I don't owe money," Cunningham said. "I didn't think it was legitimate."
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And when she returned the call, her suspicions were confirmed. Over the course of a four-minute recording, Cunningham questioned the man about his work, and he quickly admitted he was part of an IRS scam.
"Aren't you a representative of the IRS?" she asked the man.
"No," he responded. "This is the way I work. I have a million dollars. I'm working this way and getting money."
But that was only the beginning of an exchange that Cunningham said left her in shock. Referring to himself as Jack Pearson, the man then began to solicit Cunningham for sexual favors, at one point offering to pay her for them.
"How could a person be this disgusting?" Cunningham asked. "How could someone think that this was OK?"
According to the IRS, Cunningham is one of many people to receive calls like this during the tax season. Since 2013, officials report 393 Texans have been duped by a scammer claiming to work for the IRS. The losses total $1.7 million.
However, this particular type of scam is easy to spot.
"You would get notices in the mail, and probably several notices, before you would ever get a phone call from us. And we certainly don't ask for credit card numbers or checking account numbers," said IRS spokesman Clay Sanford.
But that hasn't stopped scammers from trying and succeeding.
After several minutes of talking with the man, Cunningham said she could not stay on the phone and listen to him any longer. Their conversation ended abruptly.
"I told him to go to hell. He can't speak to me in that way or anybody in that way," Cunningham said. "Or scam anybody like that and get away with it."
Following the call, Cunningham reported what happened to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The agency provides an avenue for victims of scams to report their cases.
For more information, visit the Treasury website.