PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) -- Have you ever wondered who is on the other side of a scam phone call? One person turned the tables on the scammer when he received an IRS scam phone call.
It’s a phone call no one wants to get, but many already received a phone call from someone impersonating the IRS, trying to scam them out of money.
Brown County, Wisconsin Supervisor Mark Becker is no stranger to those types of phone calls, so when he got a voicemail saying he was under investigation, he decided to call back.
“I knew it was a scam, but for fun I said, ‘What the heck? I will give them a call back and see what they have to say,’” said Becker.
But he never expected to get the answers he actually got from the scammer.
“Totally told me everything they do, their whole operation. It was nuts,” said Becker.
Becker started off by asking the scammer something simple.
Becker: “How many people a day actually pay you guys something?"
Scammer: “Uh at least 10-12.”
Becker then moved on to asking the scammer how much money the scammer gets out of people every day.
Scammer: “It’s more than $50,000 dollars.”
Becker: “A day, you take from people?”
Scammer: “It is, yup.”
The scammer wouldn’t give up his location, but he did tell Becker there are about 30 other people in his building doing the exact same thing.
“Thirty people pay $50,000 every single day,” said Becker. “I mean the money coming into those places is astronomical.”
The scammer also admitted how they decide the amount they ask you for when they randomly call people.
Becker: “How do you figure how much you are going to ask someone for?”
Scammer: “That depends upon the voice of the customer.”
When Becker asked why the scammers do what they do, he said the scammer’s answer was cold and callous.
Scammer: “We do need money.”
Becker: “You need money too?”
Becker said unfortunately his story won’t stop the scammers from calling, but he hopes it helps stop others from falling for it.
“I would hate for some people in this community be part of that $50,000 that that guy got,” said Becker.
Just a reminder, the IRS will never notify you of a problem via a phone call.
“We get lots of calls every week at the BBB from people claiming the IRS is calling them,” said Susan Bach, the northeast regional director of the Better Business Bureau. “The IRS says that is not the way they operate. They will send you a letter.”
Bach said other red flags include a strong foreign accent and asking for a payment via gift card or wire transfer.
Bach said they did see a decline in IRS scam phone calls back in October of 2016 when a call center in India was busted, but they started back up this year so she urges extra precaution.