Dodge County Sheriff confronts IRS scam

Posted at 10:51 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 23:52:17-04

The Dodge County Sheriff got a message, saying pay up or he would be sued. Instead he dialed the number back and turned the tables on the caller and recorded the whole thing.

The Dodge County Sheriff was trying to get work done at the office Thursday when his personal phone rang. Dale Schmidt picked up and heard a recorded message claiming to be from the IRS.  The caller said they were suing, and to call back immediately. So the sheriff did and identified himself, asking the caller if he was in fact from the IRS.

He recorded the call:

Scammer:  "No sir, this is not the IRS. This is a scam"
Sheriff:      "This is a scam?"
Scammer:  "Yes"

Sheriff Schmidt says he was shocked the man admitted it and even more surprised by what happened next.

Sheriff: "OK, can you tell me where you are from? Where you are located?"
Scammer: "In Afghanistan"
Sheriff: "In Afghanistan?"
Scammer: "Yes"
Sheriff: "Why are you scamming our citizens?"
Scammer: "This is our job sir"

The sheriff says it sounded like the man was calling from a call center.

"Because there is so much technology involved in spoofing phone numbers and transferring calls through different areas we don't know where this came from," says Sheriff Schmidt.

Schmidt says he along with his deputies regularly are called by people they suspect are phony, but this time he hit record.

"It was just my goal to try to investigate this further," says Schmidt. "And try to protect people from losing thousands and thousand of dollars."

The IRS says it never asks for money over the phone.