Police impersonator sought in IRS scam case

Posted at 11:00 AM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 12:01:01-04

A 50 year-old Appleton resident received several phone calls in September telling her she owed back taxes. These calls signaled the beginning of an “IRS Scam" in which she lost more than $4,000.

During the calls, the victim was told the U.S. Treasury Department would be sending someone to her house to take her into custody, according to Appleton Police.  

A man, dressed in a brown uniform, with a “Trooper” style hat, arrived at her house a short time later. He was driving a brown, 4-door vehicle, which appeared to be a squad car. Neither the vehicle, nor the man’s uniform, had markings to identify an agency. The man told the victim he had an arrest warrant for her and showed her paperwork. She was given the opportunity to avoid going to jail by paying the alleged back taxes.

The victim was directed to go to several specific stores to purchase money orders and iTunes cards to pay the supposed back taxes. After sending the money orders and activating the iTunes gift cards, the victim realized she had been scammed. 

The person who showed up at the victim’s house was a male with an olive/darker complexion. He was about 200 pounds and appeared fit. The victim believed he was between 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall. He had dark hair and had the name “R. James” on his badge. The victim believes he may have called himself “Robert”.

The Appleton Police Department reminds people to be wary of unsolicited calls. Government agencies, such as the IRS, will send a letter to notify people of issues. They will not call or ask for payment of taxes to be made with money orders or gift cards. If you think you are being scammed, do not provide personal identifying information (date of birth, social security number, credit card or bank information) to the caller.

If you have information regarding this individual, please contact the Appleton Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at 920-832-5500. Individuals with information wishing to remain anonymous can text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of the message.