A local business woman is coming forward, speaking only to Fox 35 about how she became the victim of widespread fraud.
"I couldn't believe someone could do this to another human being," said Karen, who asked us not to use her real name.
Karen says she got a call from someone who claimed to be an IRS agent. He told her to download an IRS form and immediately settle her debt. Karen's husband recently died, and since he did the taxes, she thought a donation they made to charity might have been filed wrong. "I had a chill through my bones. I was shaking, I couldn't think straight," Karen said. Karen was advised to settle her tax bill with prepaid cards.
She paid them over $50,000 in all, before her brother grew suspicious and alerted law enforcement. It wiped out her life savings. Investigators have targeted an account leaving a chance that one day she'll get at least some of her money back. We looked closer at
Karen's scam and found she's one of over 3,000 victims of what's known as the IRS scam. Florida is the 3rd most victimized state with almost $800,000 lost to the scam. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office investigates financial crimes like these every day. They say the IRS will never call you to settle a debt, and never ask for personal information over the phone.