AMES, Iowa -- A phone scam targeting Iowa State University students is the latest in a string of fraudulent calls made by people pretending to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service in Ames, according to police.
Ames Police Cmdr. Jason Tuttle says the city has been "slammed" with IRS phone scams, the latest of which are targeting Iowa State students, particularly international students.
"We've seen it from some of our other community members as well," Tuttle said. "But oftentimes what these scams will do, they will call some of our international students - or some of our elderly people, especially - and they'll tell them they owe an outstanding fine or there's a warrant for their arrest because they haven't paid some type of fee to the IRS."
Tuttle says these scams are nothing new, a tell-tale sign it's a scam is that it comes in the form of a phone call. An official notice from the IRS would come in the form of mail. Tuttle says these callers have directed students to make a wire transfer of the money owed at Western Union banks, but bank tellers are working to spot these scams in action and stop customers from going through with the wire transfer.
"But they're telling us some people are adamant they send the money," he said. "A lot of people just don't understand they're being scammed."
Tuttle says if you receive a call from someone claiming to represent the IRS, hang up and report the call to police.