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IRS Phone Scam - Protect Yourself From The Latest Con Operation

Updated on June 27, 2015
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Brian Gray, obtained his degree in Language from Lee University, and has been a published author and professional writer since 1985.

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:

Me: “Hello.”

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?”

Me: “What?”

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.

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    • profile image

      Damian Fedorko 22 months ago

      Very good article; correct and informative.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 22 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks, Damian. Hope you passed it on. I'd like to put these hooligans out of business.

      Brian

    • profile image

      Suryo Saputro 22 months ago

      Shared! They are extremely annoying, and even for some people, very convincing and threatening. I also found some similar case about these scammers at http://www.whycall.me/202-684-6662.html. They have been around since several years ago I think, and still exist until now. Thanks for sharing this experience, Gray. I hope there are many people share this kind of articles/news, so that there are many residents aware about those scammers and will be able to protect themselves from falling victim to them.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 22 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Suryo Saputro,

      Thank you for helping to spread the word. I hope we help to stop these scammers from taking any more money from innocent people.

      Brian

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 22 months ago from Rep Boston MA

      Thank you for sharing this with me. There are so many scams like this that work on so many people. I have though, learned that if I am actually in trouble with the law somehow they will notify me with a letter - or local officer depending on the issue. This is similar to how when people who pretend to be cops come to your door and ring a doorbell - real cops knock and yell not ring doorbells on modest sized houses. Other phone scams I get are all cardmember services about winning trips and ipads and other gadgets.

      ~thranax~

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 22 months ago from Pennsylvania

      thanax,

      Thank you for those comments and helping to spread the word about this latest con operation. It seems like we no sooner learn about one scam, that another pops up to take its place. The best advice is to be suspicious of any call that comes from a company or individual you don't recognize.

      Brian

    • Cow Flipper profile image

      Sean Jankowski 20 months ago from Southern Oregon

      These people are so messed up. I hate them.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 20 months ago from Pennsylvania

      Cow Flipper,

      And they are still going strong. That's why I wrote this article. Too many people are losing money to these con artists. Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll help spread the word.

      Brian

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 19 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      A message was left stating that h/she was from IRS Audit. Never left name nor phone number. I knew it was a scam as my taxes are up to date. IRS always alert people via mail, never by phone. Wonder how many people are bilked by these scavengers!

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 19 months ago from Pennsylvania

      gmwilliams,

      The actors who make these calls are very convincing, and they are also very successful. They have scammed countless numbers of innocent people...thus the article I wrote. Thanks for reading, and I am so glad that you were one of the wise ones.

      Brian

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