DARIEN—An elderly woman was recently scammed into giving $1,000 in iTunes gift cards to a man posing as an employee of IRS.

Police said one month ago, the victim, a 74-year-old New Haven woman who works in Darien, got a voicemail from a man calling himself Paul Brown. In the voicemail, Brown told the victim he was from the IRS and she owed $1000 in penalties. He told her to return his call, but the victim ignored it.

On Tuesday, July 19, Brown called the 74-year-old while she was at her place of employment on Leeuwarden Road. Brown told the victim she needed to pay the money she owed the IRS or else she would be arrested. The victim agreed to pay, fearing arrest.

Brown told the woman to stay on the line and keep her phone in her pocket while she went to the Walgreens on Heights Road. There, the victim was instructed to purchase two $500 iTunes gift cards. She was told not to mention the IRS or why she was buying them. After purchasing the two cards with the caller on the phone, the victim gave the gift card numbers to him.

Later, the victim contacted police at the urging of her son to report the incident. Officers tried to call the number given to them by the victim and were met with a voice recording, telling them they’d reached the IRS and all officers were busy. The officers left a voicemail, but their call had not been returned as of Tuesday, July 26.

Officers also researched the number and found no identity associated with it. They did, however, discover numerous reports about other people who suffered similar scams after getting called by that phone number.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata

More Information

Contact police if you receive a call from this number: 509-592-9796