Police Impersonator Sought in Fraud Investigation
In September, a 50 year-old Appleton resident received several phone calls telling her she owed back taxes. These calls signaled the beginning of the “IRS Scam” for the victim.
During the calls, the victim was told the U.S. Treasury Department would be sending someone to her house to take her into custody. A short time later, a man, dressed in a brown uniform, with a “Trooper” style hat, arrived at her house. 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. She went to the police with her report. In total, she lost over $4,000 dollars to the scammers.
The person who showed up at the victim’s house was described as a male with an olive/darker complexion. He was approximately 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. They also will not demand immediate payment of any back taxes or threaten to have local law enforcement personnel take a person into custody. They certainly will not 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 Officer Hayes at the Appleton Police Department’s non-emergency phone number (920)832-5500. Individuals with information, wishing to remain anonymous, should consider Text-a-Tip. Text CRIMES (274-637) with the keyword APDTIPS at the start of the message.
For additional information, please contact Sgt. Lund at (920)832-5509.