IRS phone scam returns to Bluefield - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

IRS phone scam returns to Bluefield


A scam that appeared in Mercer County around a year ago is making a comeback, as con-artists try to prey on unsuspecting victims. A Bluefield resident received one of these calls... and after hanging up with with the caller, she first called the police, and then called WVVA. 

Ondina Kanoun says she received a phone call from someone claiming to represent the IRS. Kanoun and her husband operate the Portabella's in Bluefield. She was at work when a man who identified himself as "Agent Murphy" called her cell phone. "He said, 'Do you have $5,276 on you right now?' He said, 'I can stop the warrants that we have issued for your arrest out of Washington, D.C.'"
After claiming that Kanoun had been negligent on her tax returns, she says this supposed IRS agent gave her instructions on how to make things right. "He said, 'You are not to hang up the phone with me, you are not to talk to anyone. You are to go straight to Wal-Mart, purchase a voucher for the amount I've given you, and go back to your home.'"
She says the 'voice on the other end' told her another agent would then swing by her home to pick up the voucher. The way this agent was handling the situation didn't seem right to Kanoun, so she called his bluff. "I said, 'So send them on down here, because you ain't nothin' but a scam!' He proceeded to call me all kinds of N's and B's, and then he hung up!"
After the call was over, Kanoun notified the State Police, and says they told her that she was the ninth person who received such a call. Sergeant Steven Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff's Department says Kanoun handled the situation the right way. "If you get a phone call, and they claim to be from the IRS, and you have not received anything in the mail, that should be the first warning sign. It should be the only sign."

If you or someone you know has potentially fallen victim to this scam, there are resources available to help you.
You can contact the Treasury Inspector General at 1-800-366-4484.
Or you can also contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

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