A 72-year-old Orion Township resident has lost $22,185 in a phone scam after he thought he was working with an IRS agent to safeguard his money.

“It was discovered that since September of 2020, this person had been sending checks to different places in the United States,” Olmsted County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Behrns said.

“He got a phone call from a person claiming to be an IRS agent that said because of the scams going around, he needed to take his money and make it more secure,” Behrns added, noting the imposter agent offered to help him protect his money.

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He said the agent also threatened to send an officer to the man’s home if he didn’t send the money as requested.

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After approximately six months of checks, Behrns said the man’s children became aware of the activity and reported it to the sheriff’s office in mid-April.

“We are working on this one, and we’ll see what we come up with, but right now it’s a sad deal,” Behrns said.

He said anyone receiving a call claiming to be from the IRS should hang up.

“The IRS does not call you,” he said. “They do all their business through the mail.”

He said there’s no reason to call the authorities to report such calls, since they are often untraceable with the origin phone number frequently changing.

However, any Olmsted County resident who has paid money to a suspected scammer can report it by calling local dispatchers at 507-328-6800.