PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The Punta Gorda Police Department is apologizing after a woman became the latest victim of a common phone scam.
A caller, claiming to be from the IRS, bilked the victim out of thousands of dollars after she asked the police for help.
"If we make a mistake, we have to own it," said Lt. Joe King, a spokesman for PGPD.
According to the police report, the woman filed a complaint in July, skeptical of the caller. An officer spoke to the caller and to the woman. That's when, police say, lines began to blur.
"What the conversation led up to, was that she had done her own taxes in the past and there may have been some problems with the taxes that she filed," King said. "The officer advised her, 'Hey, if you've had problems in the past with your filing, then definitely go to the office, but go in person and make sure it's legitimate.' And unfortunately, the victim didn't."
The victim sent the money, anyway.
Now, PGPD is claiming responsibility. They reimbursed her the more than $2,000 she lost and put the officer into extra training on how to catch a fraud.
WINK News spoke with the victim Monday. She declined comment.