The IRS has warned about these scams for years-- someone calls, demanding money, threatening jail time if you don't pay up. Well, these scammers are using text messaging too.

Fox 17 reports that an Ionia couple lost $500 to such a scam.

Joe and Ronda Nalett say they got a text on July 11 from someone who claimed to be with the IRS. The person said Ronda owed money and there was a warrant out for her arrest.

Ronda told Fox 17,

“He said one way we could resolve this is if you can get a $25 card, but it can’t be a bank card, a debit, Visa, or Mastercard. It has to be from iTunes."

Ronda complied and purchased a $25 gift card, giving the person the code on the back... but it wasn't enough. The person on the other end demanded more and more money, saying the Naletts could go to prison and their bank accounts could be seize.

The Naletts say the demands stopped once they had paid $500 in gift cards to the man. Ronda became suspicious when she could not get confirmation that her debt had been cleared.

The IRS reminds everyone that an IRS employee will NOT call or text asking for money over the phone.

Raphael Tulino, IRS spokesman told Fox 17,

“No matter the variation, under no circumstance is the IRS calling people out of the blue demanding immediate tax payment and certainly not asking to make that payment on an iTunes gift card. The normal correspondence from our agency- the IRS to the taxpayer - is a letter in the mail.”

He advises anyone who receives a similar message to report it to the US Treasury Inspector General here.

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