INDIANAPOLIS - Authorities want to warn all Hoosiers of a vicious phone scam that is scaring people into forking over thousands of dollars.
In the past year, the Attorney General's Office has already received 1,300 complaints about the 'IRS Scam.' More than 40 complaints were reported just this week.
"This scam has been huge this year," said Molly Johnson, spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office.
Mickey Carr and her husband Eddie are among the long list of victims.
In December, a scammer pretending to work for the IRS told them they owed $8,000 and if they didn't pay up, they would be arrested.
The Carr's only had $2,000 in their bank account and immediately handed it over via prepaid cards.
"(The caller) stayed on the line talking to us while we went to the bank, and got the money out and we went to Meijer and got these cards,” said Mickey Carr.
She said they fell for the scam, because they had a previous tax issue. And since Eddie is a pastor, their reputation was on the line.
“We didn’t know why we had to pay this money for taxes, but we was gonna do it,” she said.
As Hoosiers head into tax season, they need to know how to spot a scam.
“Anytime someone is threatening arrest and demanding an immediate payment, those are both red flags. The government, the IRS would never use those type of tactics,” said Johnson.
If the IRS does want to speak to you over the phone, that will only happen after they have already tried to reach you through mail. You can always get the ID number from the caller and then call the IRS back to confirm you're actually talking to an IRS employee.
Unfortunately, Johnson said, victims usually never get their money back.
"I don’t know how people (do) that do other people," said Mickey Carr.
If somebody calls you and it seems suspicious, hang up the phone.