Scammers posing as IRS agents forced a school to go on lockout status and police to swarm a house in a Colorado Springs neighborhood. It's a story 11 News first brought you Monday.
Like countless scams before, this one started with a phone call.
"I got a scam phone call...saying I owed back taxes," victim Jim Davis said. "And, of course, it scared me, so I decided to go along with it...he said it was 'Officer David Brown' [with the IRS], gave me his badge number, and he told me to go to the bank and get the money so I could pay my back taxes from 2009 to 2013. When I got to the bank, I talked to Shannon, the manager at the bank, and she told me she heard there was a scam going around for IRS tax evasion."
The manager called the number herself, and was given the same spiel, Davis said.
Police say Davis received several calls Monday morning.
"They kept telling me if I didn't pay the money...a police officer was going to come arrest me within 15 minutes and take me away to jail for three to five years."
Though scary and upsetting, up to this point nothing about the phone call was anything out of the ordinary. As 11 Call for Action's Betty Sexton has found over the years in investigating scam phone calls, threatening arrest is a typical intimidation tactic--and usually baseless.
But suddenly the call took a frightening real world turn.
At the same time they were calling Davis, the scammers were also calling 911.
"They put in a call that I was harming people, and that I wanted to kill cops.
At one point the suspect even claimed to be Davis.
Police have now released the 911 calls the scammers made.
Caller: "My name is James, James Davis."
Of course, it isn't him. We talked to Davis again Tuesday and played that 911 call from the scammer for him.
"That's the same guy that was calling me," Davis said.
Police swarmed Davis' home on Windy Oaks Road, near Northgate and Highway 83 on the north side of Colorado Springs. Davis said later there were 12 police cars surrounding his house--with his 20-year-old daughter Amber now the only one at home.
"The house phone was ringing like 50 times, so I really didn't know what was going on, and so I finally answered thinking that it was my dad trying to get ahold of me, and this guy answered in a really weird accent and he said that my dad was under arrest," Amber Davis said, recalling the minutes before police arrived.
When actual officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department called the house to say they had the home surrounded, she didn't know if it was really them, or the scammer.
When Amber looked outside, she was terrified.
"I didn't know they were here. I heard, like, noises outside, and when I finally got a call from a police officer, he told me that he was, like, outside...there was [sic] cops swarming and I went outside, and it was terrifying because there was, like, guys with shields and guns," Amber recalled.
Nearby Discovery Canyon School was placed on lockout status. Davis' son Drew, a student at Discovery Canyon, said he had no idea his family was at the center of it all.
"[The school] wouldn't let us leave, and that was pretty much all I heard in school, until I got home," Drew Davis said.
Jim Davis, at work when law enforcement descended on his house, rushed to get to his daughter, unsure if he was talking to police officers or scammers.
"I lost trust, unfortunately, in the police department, because they were telling me they were outside the house wanting to get in the house, and I knew my daughter was home alone. I didn't know who was calling me because I had all these fake phone calls happening from six different numbers...so when the police officer contacted me on my cell phone...it said it was from an unavailable number so I thought it was a scam again.
"Naturally I was scared for my family's life...I was also scared; they said that if I didn't pay I was going to go to prison and I was going to have to pay $96,000," Davis said.
Eventually Amber came outside, Davis made it home from work and the police realized that the whole thing was a scam.
Listening to the 911 calls with 11 News reporter Alyssa Chin Tuesday, Davis couldn't help but chuckle at the surrealness of the situation.
"I think it sounds pretty pathetic. It doesn't even sound real...but I know [law enforcement] have to react because they don't know. They have to assume everything is legit until proven otherwise."
The Colorado Springs Police Department confirms they are investigating where the calls were coming from. They told 11 News they’re not local.
Davis said police told him they would be getting the FBI involved.
Police said this is a reminder that there are many scams prevalent at this time of year particularly those dealing with the IRS. While most scams do not rise to the level of the suspects calling in a false 911 emergency, citizens are reminded to be vigilant.
If you receive a telephone call stating you owe money and feel that it may be a scam obtain as much information as possible and report it to authorities.
The IRS will never call or threaten you over the phone. Agents will always send you information through the mail, and keep in mind, they give you plenty of time to respond.