A 69-year-old Sierra Madre woman, reported missing by her husband Thursday morning, showed up at the police station nine hours later after being scammed out of thousands of dollars by IRS imposters involved in an ongoing scam primarily targeting seniors.
Enayat Bargen was first contacted by phone around 9 a.m. and was instructed to retrieve money from her bank account or go to jail, according to the Sierra Madre Police Department.
"If they don't comply, they say that the IRS will be out within the hour to arrest them," said Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone.
Bargen withdrew $5,000 and was told to use the money to purchase Green Dot debit cards from multiple locations around the San Gabriel Valley.
"They asked her for the security code on the back which she provided," Giannone said. The imposters were then able to transfer the funds into their account.
Bergen was told not to contact anyone, but eventually called her husband who had already reported her missing, fearing she might meet with the imposters in person.
Sierra Madre police received 50 reports about similar calls from residents on Thursday.
Bargen was one of two residents who responded to the call.
The second victim gave the imposters $2,000, Giannone said.
Police believe the same person, or group, was responsible for all the calls.