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North Buffalo man loses $4,568 in gift cards to 'IRS' scammer

A North Buffalo man told police he fell victim to a scam late last week when he bought 13 Target gift cards worth $4,568 to pay off money he thought he owed to the IRS.

The man reported he received a series of phone calls Friday from numbers with a 202 area code from someone calling himself "Frank Vazquez" who said he worked for the Internal Revenue Service. The caller instructed the man to pay him $4,568.

A police report doesn't explain whether this was the caller's idea or the man's idea, but the North Buffalo man agreed to pay the caller in Target gift cards: Two $1,000 cards, one $568 card and 10 $200 cards. The scamming victim scratched off the numbers on the back of the cards and read them over the phone to the caller.

The cards, of course, now have zero-dollar balances. Officers are investigating the incident as a case of grand larceny.

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