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(Toledo News Now) -
Are you waiting for your tax refund? Or thrilled that your taxes are finally done?
Unfortunately, thousands of people right now are getting an unexpected phone call from a caller who claims he or she is with the IRS.
The IRS is warning about what may be the biggest tax related phone scam in history targeting taxpayers. The agency says scammers have collected more than a million dollars using the scam this year alone.
Martin Lemmink recently answered his phone to learn he was in trouble with the federal government.
"He gave me a name and stated that he was from the US Treasury, and that there was some issues with some taxes," said Lemmink.
Lemmink says the caller demanded immediate payment for back taxes. Not sure if it was real, Lemmink hung up and Googled the phone number. When the threatening caller called again, he was prepared.
"I said I had discovered through some investigation that this is a scam," said Lemmink.
Lemminck avoided being conned in a what the IRS says is the number one scam targeting taxpayers: threatening calls claiming you need to pay back taxes, or face arrest.
Jennifer Jenkins of the IRS says the callers ask for your credit card number or tell you to wire cash via western union.
"We'll call it a pervasive telephone scam. We wouldn't call anyone to for financial or personal information over the phone or demand immediate payment of a tax due," said Jenkins.
The IRS says more than 20,000 people have reported receiving these calls. It estimates victims have forked over more than a million dollars in the past year.
Lemmink is hoping he can prevent a few people from falling for it.
"I started thinking of the general community and people who would be getting this call, because they are very high pressure," said Lemmink.
So beware, and warn your older relatives because they are ones who are really being targeted here, and they may not have the Internet savvy to avoid being scammed.