IRS Phone Scam - Protect Yourself From The Latest Con Operation
I recently received a shocking phone call that rattled my nerves for a moment...until I realized that I was being called by a well-run scam operation. Read the shocking story, then spread the word. You could be next. Don’t become a victim.
One Scary Phone Call!
My phone rang, and there on the caller ID was a name and number I did not recognize. Curious, I thought to myself, “Must be a wrong number. Let me see.” Here is the phone conversation as it happened:
Caller: “This is the Internal Revenue Service calling. As this is a very important call, I have to verify that I am reaching Mr. Brian Gray. Are you Brian Gray?”
Me: (Perplexed) “Yes. Who is this again?”
She had a very thick Indian accent that made it extremely difficult for me to understand what she was saying. I literally had to ask her to repeat herself about four times, which drew this response -
Caller: “How many times am I going to have to repeat myself, Mr. Gray!?” she said sternly. “Mr. Gray, I am calling from the Internal Revenue Service. This call is being recorded, due to the serious nature of the call. Mr. Gray, are you aware that there is a warrant for your arrest?”
Caller: “Mr. Gray, these are serious charges we have against you, You are in violation...” at which point she listed a number of Federal regulations, but with her thick accent, I could not make out all of them. It was the last one, however, that caught my ear when she said “...the Immigration and Naturalization Act.”
Me: “What?! Immigration and Naturalization Act?! Ma’am, I am a natural born United States citizen. I’ve been a citizen all of my life...from birth! Naturalization Act? What on earth are you talking about?” I was still a bit dazed and confused by all of this, because it was coming rapidly with no time to think. Adding to the confusion was that this call was to my unlisted phone number, and she was addressing me by name! But I was starting to get irritated at the thought that this was intruding on my day and was still making no sense. My mind even went back to question, “Did I file my taxes?” I had to think quickly. Of course I did. Heck, I even had my refund back in the spring. What in Sam Hill was all of this about! Without skipping a beat, she continued rapid fire.
Caller: “Thank you for bringing that to our attention, Mr. Gray. I will make sure that that one is removed from your charges.”
Then, she went right on.
Caller: “Mr. Gray, we have a warrant for your arrest for back taxes which you owe. The police are looking for you...” I interrupted.
Me: “This is bizarre! I have no idea WHAT you are talking about! Why wasn’t a letter sent to me?!”
Caller: Very indignant “Mr. Gray, we sent you a letter thirty days ago, and you refuse to respond. You therefore leave us no choice but to have you arrested. If you continue to ignore us, Mr. Gray, we are going to have you put in jail until we bring you into the court room.”
Me: I interrupted her tirade and said “This is absolutely a scam! Who the hell do you think you are!”
As I prepared to hang up, she ranted, “Very well Mr. Gray,” she said with a taunting threat,
“We’ll see you in court!”
This woman was not taking no for an answer, she was well-trained in intimidation tactics, she had done this obviously many times before, and she knew how to change up when I said that her bogus charge of something to do with the Immigration and Naturalization Act was aimed at someone who was NOT an immigrant, but born right here in the U.S. She never changed her tone, but went right on trying to scare me into the next phase, which upon further investigation of this scam, would have been to get the amount paid to them immediately through one of several methods...all over the phone and all right then and there. Think you wouldn’t wonder if you received this call? Think of this, my number is private, unlisted, and she not only called my phone, but she knew my name. After I hung up, I researched this scam, and it turns out that they are succeeding at getting tens of thousands of dollars from innocent victims, and their biggest target is newly arrived immigrants who don’t know our laws, as well as the elderly.
Here are some things you should know -
The IRS will never call you and threaten you about supposed back taxes.
The IRS will never demand immediate payment.
If you owe back taxes, you will be notified by letter, NOT by a phone call.
If you do not feel that you owe the amount, you will be permitted to question or appeal.
The IRS will NEVER ask for a credit card number over the phone.
The IRS will never threaten to bring in local police or law enforcement.
Sadly, this scam is in full swing, and countless numbers of innocent people are being swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars. I have written this brief article, because I hope that people will send this on to others and help shut down this scam and stop their perpetrators. If you receive this call, you can have fun with them if you want to, but immediately send the information you get on to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484, or by email to www.tigta.gov .
Thanks for spreading the word. Without this information being circulated, someone you know could be next.