Think twice before you take a call from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. With tax season approaching, criminals are increasingly exploiting Americans' trust in an attempt to get them to turn over financial information. Just ask Dave Holmes.

Holmes, the comedian and former MTV VJ, sparked a Twitter firestorm Thursday night when he described his interaction with “the laziest, shoddiest grifters” he'd ever encountered. The story involved his conversation with three con artists impersonating IRS agents, and asking Holmes to deposit $5,300 into their Bank of America account. Holmes was leaving the gym, he said, when he heard a voice mail from someone claiming to be from the IRS with a Maryland cell phone number, but speaking in a foreign accent.











The fraudsters hung up on Holmes, he said, after he said he'd like to call his tax preparer. It was only after he called back in faux tears that they directed him to his bank to withdraw the cash. From there, Holmes says he was directed to a Bank of America branch and given the routing number for an account that belonged to a Jack Milton.

At various points in the call he was connected with “IRS agents” who called themselves Officer Johnson, Agent Debbie and Agent Paul.





The call only ended when Holmes, a trained comedy improviser, told Agent Paul he was going to read him the transaction receipt.







The same type of scam has been more successful for other criminals, the IRS said. Phone scams typically begin months before customers starting filling out their W-2 forms or making appointments at the accountant's office. Since October 2013, an IRS spokesman told, criminals have taken more than $23 million from at least 4,550 victims.