KANSAS CITY, Mo. - April can not only bring spring showers, but in the age of technology, scams are also on the rise this month.
Nagin Patel recently got the phone call at his Northland Kansas City home. The voice at the other end told Patel he owed the IRS $5,000 and that he needed to go to Wal-Mart to wire the money. If he did not pay, the caller told Patel he would be arrested.
Patel's next thought was about an iconic Hollywood tough guy character.
"I knew I never had problem with IRS … so it was like Clint Eastwood said in his movie, make my day," Patel said.
This time of year, the IRS reports an increase in the number of scams, where the con tries to frighten the targeted victim by using the agency name. The IRS recently published its list of dirty dozen scams .
If you do owe money, an IRS spokesman said the agency will always contact you by mail first, never by phone, email or social media.
"If it's anything except a letter delivered by the postal service, that's going to be a scam. That's not how we do business," IRS spokesman Michael Devine said.
In this case, Patel knew instantly the call was bogus. After 30 years with TWA, he retired and went to work for H&R Block. He also volunteers for AARP, helping elderly and low income families prepare their taxes.
"Naturally I called the IRS, filled out a form and officially reported this as a scam," Patel said.
Patel is now spreading the word. He called and emailed friends and family, telling them about the scam.
To question or report a scam to the IRS, you can call 1-800-829-1040.