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West Forsyth man reports loss of $20K in phone scam

WEST FORSYTH — The case of a west Forsyth man who recently claimed he was the victim of a phone scam that left him out $20,000 should serve as a reminder to remain vigilant when talking to anyone about transactions over the phone or computer, authorities said.

The 36-year-old man told deputies he got a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The caller told the man there were active warrants on him and his wife and that they could pay a fine or be arrested.

The man reportedly agreed to go to several locations and send money to this person out of fear of being deported, according to an incident report.

“He was also instructed to keep an active connection while driving from place to place,” the report stated. “By the time the communications between [the victim] and this other person ended, he had sent approximately $20,000.”

Phone scams are not a new fad, though they do seem to occur in cycles.

A recent caller to the Forsyth County News said she also had received a call from someone claiming to be with the federal government. However, she did not give over any money.

The script varies in details, but the foundation is the same.

A caller identifies themselves with a company or agency and offers a way out of a potential arrest or adverse situation by paying a fine via money order or “green dot” card.

Officials with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office say to never give anyone money over the phone or via money order.

The sheriff’s office has said in the past that no governmental agency, whether the IRS or local law enforcement, asks residents to pay anything over the phone or with a money order.

Those who suspect they are being contacted as part of a scam should to hang up and report the phone number to law enforcement.