Edmonds woman nearly scammed out of $5,400 by fake IRS agent

EDMONDS, Wash. -- An Edmonds woman was the victim of a terrifying scam in which a man identifying himself as an IRS agent called and demanded she pay over $5,400 immediately or face arrest.

The woman, who asked that we protect her identity, said he told her to stay on the phone with him while she went to the bank for the cash -- and then to a Safeway in Lynnwood to buy prepaid vouchers.

"The whole time he says do not hang up or I will find you and you will go to jail," she said. "I got the vouchers for $3,000 and he said go to my car and scratch off the back and give him all the numbers."

He then told her to go to second Safeway, in Edmonds, and purchase the remaining $2,400 in prepaid vouchers.

An alert Safeway employee realized what was happening and confronted the man on the phone, then called police. While she was filing a report with the police, the same man called back using the caller ID from her daughter's cell phone.

"He said that he'd taken my daughter and she was in Washington, D.C., and that we would need the money for her."

As scary as it sounded, she knew that was a lie. She's hoping others hear her story and are more cautious.

"They'll trying anything to get you and they just claw at your heartstrings. If anything just doesn't seem right in your gut, don't do it."

Police believe the call was coming from outside the country. If you ever receive a call similar to this, police say you should contact 911.