Fake IRS collectors are calling

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This time of year is often taxing for many consumers. Scams aimed at stealing taxpayers’ money make the season more stressful.

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) warns that crooks posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials are contacting people claiming they owe taxes. The caller demands a prepaid debit card, wire transfer or a credit card number for payment. If the person doesn’t comply, the caller threatens to arrest or deport the target, or take away their driver’s license or business.

Thousands of victims have lost money to these tax scam artists. But there are ways to recognize them and foil their attempts to steal your money.

These scammers often:

  • call you. But when the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they do it by postal mail, not by phone 
  • use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
  • know the last four digits of your Social Security number
  • demand payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS doesn’t ask for either of these payment methods, nor will they ask for credit card numbers.
  • rig caller ID information to appear as if the IRS really is calling
  • send fake emails that look like legitimate IRS correspondence
  • make a second call claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, rigging the caller ID information  

To protect yourself from imposters who call, claiming to be from the IRS:

  • don’t provide any account or other personal information. Hang up the phone.
  • never wire money to a person or company you don’t know. Once you wire money, you can’t get it back.
  • if you owe - or think you owe - federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. You also can visit the IRS website at irs.gov.
  • if you’ve already paid your taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
  • forward emails from the IRS to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails. 
  • file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Include “IRS Telephone Scam" in your complaint.
Tagged with: IRS, phishing, scam, tax
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Got an automated call from "officer heather gray" -- 202 506-9983 -- says Beltsville MD .. boy she gets around the country. Same day got a scam phone call from a "Mitchell Feld" 425 233-8747 -- this is Bellevue WA number. Scams all the way.

They just tried to scam us. It started with a message from a "Heather Gray", calling from (202) 506-9835. We were then given another phone number, (202) 506-8096, to call back, which we innocently did. We then talked to a man, and then later his "supervisor", "Anna Jones". (Everyone we talked to had an Indian or Pakistani accent, and wouldn't likely have names like Jones and Gray.) Said we owed $6,874 and insisted that we stay on the line, go to Safeway, get a payment voucher, and give them the payment voucher information, or my wife would be arrested. We contacted the IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate service and was told that this was a scam attempt, and that they heard of examples like this frequently. We then looked up both of these phone numbers and found the helpful comments cited, which we used to confront the scammer. (She got quite upset and threatening when we confronted her, claiming that all of the people who commented on this web site were behind bars.)

I received the same robotic SCAM message from IRS officer Heather Gray today 6/27/14 in Florida. FYI

My elderly parents received a call from an "Officer Scott Wilson" and his supervisor, "Officer Eric Foster" (both heavily laden with thick Indian Accents. They said to call 202-241-4054 immediately and pay $1795 in monies due to IRS today or Charlotte, NC Sheriff's Office would take them to jail. I called Clt Policy to double check and they confirmed this was a SCAM

Beware of this number 1(415)251-3461 a man by the name “Victor” says that he is an IRS Investigator and he treats you claiming that you owe taxes and immediately asks you to pay with either a credit card or your bank account over the phone, or else you’ll be detained within the next 24 hours.

We also received the robotic message from Officer Heather Gray to call "instantly" at 202-506-9108 "before we take any legal action against you".

Got same message from same number today.

We just got the call today from robot Agent Heather somthing from 202-506-9812 warning us not the ignore the call or they will take further "action against you". I hung up and tried to call the number but it just rings busy.

Got the robotic call from Heather Gray too, got suspicious, googled the name immediately. This is a scam! these people should be in jail. Leave the hard working citizens alone!

I received a message from Heather Gray 415 area code. I am glad that others have gotten something similar and that it is being reported. I was nervous until I did some research.

I also received a call from the same area code and person!! Glad I saw this!!

I just got a couple of calls to my unlisted home telephone number...202-506-9835 from a mechanical sounding "officer Heather Grey", thanks to you guys I just deleted it from my messages....

I received such a call from this number on April 16, warned of "legal consequence".

We got the same phone call regarding legal matter. Kevin Mccoy was his name and wanted us to call him back.

202-506-9194 is another similar number. It has been over 30 minutes and the sheriff has not arrested me, and to the best of my knowledge, my driver's license has not been suspended. Beware!

Got the same call today a man with Indian accent. Very intmidating, he called from 202-239-6612. I didn't fall for his scam.

Did the Indian guy say "They have a warrant out for your arrest" by chance?

yes, it just happened to me. he said his name was Melvine Bedgick and th the was the IRS audit and that against my name there was a legal petition and that there was a warrant for my arrest. my caller ID said the # was out of area but he left the phone number to call him 888 319 6242

So hopefully there is no legal petition against my name :-)

But then they end the call with "have a blessed day", right? Hahahahaha, these people are morons and thieves.

Same MO here. Melvin says "have a nice day." His # 844-854-5595.

I got the same message from Melvin. I found it hilarious he said please call back immediately we have 3 cases pending towards you and than have a nice day! really? smh lol

Melvin Patrick just called my cell phone threating legal action for not paying taxes. Looks like latest number is 202-684-6608, but if they are spoofing numbers then it doesn't matter because they can just keep changing it.

The latest phone number for these scumbags is 203-701-1071

Melvin Patrick, or maybe last name Baget, called our home in Nevada today. He had a thick ascent as mentioned before. Same threat about a warrant for arrest over illegal tax evasion, which is the craziest thing in the world to us. Never identified who he was trying to reach - first sign of falseness! Found lots of references here and other places on the Web. Will someone stop this person? The response number he gave was 888-393-2421. Today is Aug. 28, 2014.

I am keep getting these calls to my home number. lot of time I scold them. But every time they are calling with different numbers. Not sure how to block all these numbers. Based on the background noise in these calls, looks like they are from MUMBAI india.

Same scam. two numbers 800-829-0922. I called back and it is a # that says it is the IRS. They hijacked the # some how. 2nd Phone # 202-506-9224. Indian accent. person was still there and is actually trying to call me back. Beware. They said they called the sheriff's department for my arrest. A call came in from the same exact number of the Sheriff's department. No arrest yet.

Received 2 calls on 2 different days from "Officer Hannah Gray" for me or my attorney of record to call 202-506-9230. I was told not to ignore this call and I must call before legal action is taken. Called a nearby IRS office; they looked up my info and said they didn't see anything wrong. Have read on IRS website that this is a scam.

Received same call/recorded message.

On May 29, 2014, I also received a call from "Officer Hannah Gray" for me or my attorney of record to call 202-506-9230. I was told not to ignore this call and I must call before legal action is taken.

I got a call on April 24, 2015 from an automated call wanting me or my attorney to call 516-693-2211. I was told not to ignore this call and I must call before legal action is taken. Person to talk to is "Officer Nicki Johnson"

I received a call from "Officer Hannah Gray" the 1st day then from a "Robert Cruz" the next day. Both using the same number: 202-506-9230. What was odd is that the "Officer Hannah Gray" sounded more robotic/computerized and Robert Cruz's call sounded with more of an accent.

Awww, she or it must have changed their number....same message, this number though 202-506-8583, *67 and call back...sad the government seems to be employing Asian women with poor English to record their answering machine...I left a message alright....really?

Just listened to a message from "Officer Hannah Gray" from the "Internal Revenue" and then it cut out. It did sound robotic and was from 415-251-1037. Since I didn't hear the whole message, I was curious, googled her name and IRS and found this site. Glad I did!

I received the same call today. I received another a month ago. Really this is getting out of hand. I want them to stop calling me.

I got the call from Hanna Grey (it was a synthesized, robotic voice) at 415 251 4089 but the call back number was 415 251 2995. this was today June 18. The scammers are still going.

Same here. They are now hitting phone numbers in the Alameda, ca. area. Same 415 251-2995 return number but the MAGIC JACK phone number was disconnected.

Received my second call from "Hanna Grey". Didn't answer and it went to recording. The front end of the call was cut off but the following is as exact as I can determine:

..... or your retained attorney <??> return the call. The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive. I am Officer Hanna Grey from Internal Revenue Service and the hotline to my division is 202-506-8682. I repeat it is 202-506-8682. Don't disregard this message and do return the call before we take any legal allegation against you. Goodbye and take care.

I received the same message from Heather Gray showing the call came from District of Columbia, phone number 202-506-9882. The robotic message used the same verbiage, that I or my retained attorney needs to call, and return the call before we take any "legal allegation against you." While the phrase "legal allegation" did not make sense, I was still shaken up, not knowing what I could have possibly done wrong. I immediately called my tax preparation representative and left him a v/m, wanting to obtain information and advice from him prior to returning the call. While awaiting a call from him I googled the name Heather Gray and this website immediately popped up. So thank you to all of you who have provided information here, finding this information so readily saved me a lot of anxiety!!

They are hitting NH now. With same name Hannah Gray but different phone number 1-415-251-9782 ""Received a call from female identifying herself as IRS Officer Hannah Gray stating this is time sensitive, with directions to call this hotline number and not "disregard" this message "before we take any legal allegation against you. Goodbye and take care."""

CALLER ID: 1-415-251-9782

"Heather Grey" called CT yesterday as well. My mother was very worried by the call - she has quite enough on her plate and needs no extra stress from a despicable scam. Thanks to all who posted here and whitepages.com for the reverse look-up feature.

Exact same (recorded) message when I answered by phone. But my gal was Julie Smith and number was 202-506-9983.

I had the same thing happened to me with both of those numbers on the day you did. I am getting so upset about this. Just so everyone is aware, if the IT'S needs to get a hold of you, they send a formal letter to you with your ID tax information. This "Deputy Heather Grey" is no more than a scam artist. Don't fall for it.

7/9/14: I got the call today from automated "officer"Heat he Grey. She told us not to ignore the call or face legal action. The # she used this time was: 202-506-9840. I am in MA.

I also received a call on my A/M from Officer Gray yesterday, I did not understand her first name. Some of her comments were: "RETURN THIS CALL BEFORE WE TAKE ANY LEGAL ALLEGATIONS DONE TO YOU".!!!!This is exactly how she said it. I knew immediately it was a scam. The phone # was 202 506-8599

I also got a call from this #202 506-8599 this morning. Wife picked up, and was told to call back or risk going to jail. Freaked us out initially. I called back and was told to call lawyer right away since they going to have me arrested for tax fraud. I was told to prevent this, due to I have a clean record, they'd allow me to settle now without going to court by buying some taxpayer voucher from HomeDepot, or Safeway or Kroger, then go to www.irs.gov to file some form. They will let me know then what to fill. They asked me to stay on the line (cell phone) while I was going to the bank so that they have proof that I am going to do it or theywill transfer my case to the court to issue my warrant. I hang up and called the local sheriff's office, and was told it was a scam. Then I search online and found this website which confirms my suspicion.

This is the same call I got. Sounded convincing at first as my income tax refund has not been issued and they knew that and kept telling me that it was under review until this was settled....so it is scary for them to have this information. I guess I'll see if I am arrested tomorrow morning!!!

The same thing happened to me. Th man with a heavy indian accent said that my husband did not pay his federal taxes. I said he's over seas and the man got surprised. He told me he was going to get arrested and tells me that he's going to come to our home. I told him my husband isn't home and then he tells me that I'm going to get arrested? What a fraud! He told me to ask my husband to call him back. We were frightened so I did. However, nobody picked up. Don't listen to them, it's a huge scam!!!

My husband got a message on the phone where a guy named Kevin told him there is an arrest warrant for him for not paying the whole amount of property tax. When my husband called back he was told to settle out of court for $7500.
He asked Kevin to send an official letter, immediately the phone was cut off.A total scam in the name of IRS!!

Rec'd a phone call this evening wanting my lawyer to call them at 202-751-2565 urgent. They need to truly find these people and punish them

I got this call from heavily accented East Indian named John Williams, the other a Caribbean man named eric foster at 202-241-1435 Said me or my attorney needed to call back and "Good Luck" if I didn't respond. They might of had me if the people were not foreigners. BEWARE!

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