BOSTON (CBS) – It is now tax time and the thought of the Internal Revenue Service calling can strike fear in just about anyone.
That anxiety is causing some people to fall for a sophisticated scam. Many victims are losing thousands of dollars.READ MORE: Canton Woman Pleads Guilty In Romance Scam
David Dyer of Revere is out about $3,700.
“I made a terrible mistake,” Dyer told WBZ-TV. “Every night I look in the mirror and I am ashamed of myself.”
With a business degree from Northeastern University and a job in financial services, Dyer believes he should have known better when he got a chilling call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent. The caller threatened Dyer with immediate arrest if he didn’t quickly settle a fake tax bill.
Dyer is in the process of getting divorced and he admits his finances are a bit jumbled right now. In fact he had some issues with back taxes and thought this call was related to the late filing of his 2013 return.
The aggressive tone of the so called agent was the final straw. Dyer got multiple MoneyGrams and transferred the money like he was told.
“They got me. They drew me right in, and I was panicked,” he recalls.
The federal government logged more than 90,000 complaints last year for these types of calls. Taxpayers have been fleeced for about $14 million.READ MORE: Families Flock To Tutoring Companies To Help Fill Pandemic Learning Gap
Steve Weisman, a Bentley University lecturer who writes extensively on consumer issues, said these calls work because of their aggressive nature and the way they instill fear in people.
Add the IRS into the equation, and the level of fear becomes even more amplified.
This scam is also sophisticated according to Weisman.
“When you get the call, it can even appear that it is coming from the IRS because your caller ID can be spoofed,” Weisman said. “And very, very intelligent people get concerned when they get a call that appears to come from the IRS.”
The IRS has posted a video online warning taxpayers about scams of this nature.
“The IRS does not call individuals at their houses,” Spokesperson Alejandra Castro-Nunez said. “They do not threaten you. They do not tell you that you have to pay right now, or that you have to pay with a debit card or a money order. We do not work that way. We send you information via U.S mail.”
David Dyer won’t likely get his money back, but he wanted to tell his story to warn others.MORE NEWS: Sticker Shock: Travelers Stunned By Rising Costs Of Renting A Car
“It’s awful. It’s an awful, awful feeing. It’s theft. I mean, that money is gone.”