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Another tax scam: IRS imposters

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tax identity theft logoTax identity theft is the theme of the week, but it’s not the only tax scam we’re talking about. Complaints to the FTC about IRS imposter scams have shot up over the last year — by almost 50,000 complaints.

Here’s what happens: You get a call from a scammer pretending to be with the IRS, saying you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay taxes you owe right now. You’re told to wire it or put it on a prepaid debit card. They might threaten to deport you or say you’ll lose your driver’s license. Some even know your Social Security number, and they fake caller ID so you think it really is the IRS calling.

But it’s all a lie. If you send the money, it’s gone.

IRS Imposter Scams

IRS Imposter Scams Infographic

 

When you have a tax problem, the IRS will first contact you by mail. The IRS won’t ask you to wire money, pay with a prepaid debit card, or share your credit card information over the phone.

If you get a call like this, file a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov. You also can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If you’re concerned there’s a real problem, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

Want to help your friends and family? Share this infographic and get more information at ftc.gov/taxidtheft.

Comments

Just received a call 2hrsago. I Have reported it to FCC. The caller left a message on my answering machine and said they were from the IRS and had been trying to reach me by phone calls and Mail. They wanted me to know I was being sued by the IRS. To call them back at 206-792-9579

Recvd 2 calls today, one came in as a "private Caller" on caller ID (no number) said was IRS and was filing a lawsuit to call 360-347-1806 to get this taken care of (was recorded call). Just now call came in as "unavailable #" (number calling was 618-529-9140)...message left on my answer machine was same voice of previous recording that called; said IRS filing lawsuit to call...gave same # to call to discuss this situation. Scam not calling

618 area code is southern Illinois 529 prefix is carbondale this is a scam the have an Indian advent but they act Luke they know us probably get our name from caller I'd where is the preside and congress and IRS to deal with this issue.when you call number the give it rings and ring only got through once and the guy was a jerk

Just received a call less than an hour ago. They said they were from the US Treasury Dept. and that I owe back taxes for 2010, 2011. They said someone would be here to arrest me in 40 min. if I didn't pay, and that I already had a warrant out for my arrest. The number they called from was 805-744-3242. I called the police who in turn gave me the number of the Federal Trade Commission. I did file a complaint with them.

These scammers are criminals, know what they are doing and out to stealing money from Americans. We pay taxes and the NSA has the spy capability to track these people down so as taxpayers we should demand they do so. If these criminals are overseas, we deal with their government's national law enforcement. All it takes is for a few of these scammers to go to prison and we'll see a reduction in these scams. Right now, it's high reward, zero risk of getting caught.

I received two calls this week from an "Officer John White" with an Indian accent telling me that there is a warrant out for me at my physical address and I am under Federal investigation. Since I did not recognize the phone number, I let it go into voicemail. He asked me to call him back at 210-390-9903 so that he can give me detailed info about my case. Uh...NOT! I filed a complaint with the FTC. I also googled the phone number and saw that this same person called others from the same phone number and same message. Now I'm getting calls from Algeria with the number 21350662102. At first I thought it was a Los Angeles number but there were too many digits. On my Samsung phone, my inbox says it's from Algeria. Anyone else get a call from this Algerian number? No message left but I'm sure if I pick up the call, a recorded message will play.

I also received a call frkm b 732-414-2527 saying the IRS is suing me, and I Must call 202-684-3436 immediately. I remembered hearing there are so many IRS frauds happening, but called and the 202# is either busy or all you get in ring after ring. This means tons of people are calling this number at the same time. I hate scammers.

158-4765 called and it was a total scam and they keep on calling me.

Got two calls in two days from different numbers with similar messages. Interesting that the person being called no longer even lives with the landline number or has the same name. This is so obviously a scam. I hope no one falls for it!

I got my call today. I feel so included. They seem to be up to the larger numeric area codes so this should slow down soon. No matter WHO calls or WHAT company or agency they claim to be with, always take info, case numbers, call back numbers, whatever and then split the actions. Contact the company YOU know via the avenue YOU trust. Local branch, government website, url you know, whatever. If it is a place you do business, a company you trust, or a government agency, you know how to get ahold of them WITHOUT using that fool number the scammer tells you to call. Get wi the real company and check the case number or situation.

Then report the scam-contact the FTC, report as fraud to whatever company whose Brand is being mis-used. The sooner they know and the more data they get from you, the better the investigation. The FBI, NSA, Interpol, and other agencies worldwide are chasing these folks. But they need data-as much as they can get. As fast as they can get it. These are mostly ghosted calls from farms of people trying to collect data, money, or anything they can resell to the next scammer. They mimic other equipment and locations and roll data every few seconds. To catch these folks, the quantity of data will carry more value to law enforcement than an equipment trace.

An earlier blogger mentioned speaking with folks, elderly especially, who do not use social media. Please do this. They are the most vulnerable, the least able to afford it, and the most afraid. Don't scare them, just warn them to call out to contacts they know....don't call back.

Outbound Contact! Not Inbound!

Received a third call today from (Unknown Name)707-822-9870, threatening a lawsuit.

The IRS does contact you by mail and MAY follow up with a phone call if mail is not heeded...BUT the caller ID will always display "US Gov't" or "Internal Revenue", and NOT "Unknown Name". They will ask for the specific taxpayer by name, whereas these bogus calls do not.

If you do owe taxes and wonder if the call is real, call the IRS directly. They will connect you to the proper agent to handle your case!

WAS THIS A RECORDING?? MINE WAS A RECORDING BUT I HAVE NOT GOT ANYTHING IN THE MAIL OR OF ANYTHING BY GOV OR INTERNAL REVENU ON MY CALLER ID I HAD SAME THING SAID THAT SAYING ABOUT A LAWSUIT IS IT A SCAM OR FOR REAL??

I had a woman leave a message saying I was being sued by NY and didn't say for what left a number and case #. Said I would be severed at home and at work but I could settle out of court if I call back. idk what's going on. Guess I will wait to be served because I am not calling back

Got a call this morning that IRS was suing me. If it was really the IRS they already know I have NO money. the number was 726-595-6504

First, they called from 730-474-2127, with a robo-call. It said they are trying to reach me, this is the final notice from the IRS. They are filing a lawsuit against me, and to call 202-684-3436 immediately.

Of course, I went straight to the internet, and found great information like this blog - PLEASE SHARE IT with people... especially (as OUTBOUND CONTACT pointed out) with people that are elderly or that don't have social media or internet savvy.

Just as a point of order, the IRS would never just call you. They would send a certified letter (you would have to sign for it) to let you know there was an issue.

The IRS are willing and able to deal with any tax issue you may have, and will work with you to pay any old debt. There have been a lot of security breaches lately (i.e. - Blue Cross/Blue Shield/Anthem) where the hackers may even have the last 4 of your SS#, addresses, etc.

If you ever have a doubt, ask for their name, operator number, call back number, case number, and WRITE DOWN whatever information you get from them. You can then call the actual IRS phone number (available via the web) to verify if you wish.

Most importantly, please use this information to report the scam to the FTC, as specified in this article.

Don't ever, EVER, give out your SS# or any personal information to people that don't need it. Just because they have it doesn't mean they are real, or working for your best interests. Protect your identity, and your family, with every keystroke.

Have a great day!

Got 2 robo calls a few hours apart from two different #s 1-585-335-9098 and 1-718-745-5293 claiming a lawsuit against me and advising me to call 209-643-0152. The Indian woman that answered this line wanted my phone # and hung up when I asked them to confirm who they were.

Got a computer call from a 260 area code # saying I was being sued by the IRS and to call 202-684-3436 immediately.. Guess I could have played along and messed with them but I chose just to post online so others who google the number will not get scammed...

Just got my phoney call from IRS today. Agent JASON OCONNER badge # 80995. Very thick foreign accent. Demanding payment of $5626 with in the next 30 to 45 minutes. If I did not comply there would be a sheriff at my door with an arrest warrant. I kept asking him why the IRS did not send certified letter. He hung up on me. I called the number on caller ID 703 662 8332 from Virginia. There was only a recorded message telling me to leave a message. Well 2 hours later they call back, but I left it go to voice mail.No message left. I did leave information about this scam with my local TV stations. I also filed complaint with
FTC.GOV and TIGTA.GOV(IRS web site) keep passing this information to everyone

202-684-3436 robo calls - sometimes twice a day - last 2 days waking me up at 6:30 am.
How do I block this #?

You can ask your phone provider if they charge for a service that blocks that particular number. Remember that telemarketers change the numbers they call from easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will almost always change. Read more about Reducing Robocalls.

call from automated system said I'm being sued by IRS and to call a number right away. wrote down wrong but number they apparently called from doesn't exist.

I've received three telephone calls in the past two days. Each call comes from a different telephone number, but the messages left on my answering machine are all the same. The automated message states the caller is from the IRS and that the IRS has filed a lawsuit against me and I need to call 202-684-3436 immediately. Rather than call the phone number, I googled it and found this site. Thank you to everyone for sharing information about the calls you've received. I hope nobody falls for this scam!

206-792-9579 Just called me, and left a similar VM. Deleted VM.

Received a call on Friday, Feb. 20th at 3:19 pm from 284-300-0000 that a lawsuit was filed on me from IRS. Message was left by a female stating that I needed to call 206-855-5833. I tried calling that number but a recorded message said " the person you are calling is not available". I know I don't owe the IRS. Scam call, I left no message.

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

I tried but could not find the'other' they said to enter to get to "imposter scams".

Right now there's a special Alert about imposter scams on the ftc.gov/complaint page. You can click on the red Alert at the top of ftc.gov/complaint to start your complaint about an imposter.

Not sure, but it seems that a crook used a phone line from GWU MFA line. Two times, when we received the phone message asking to call IRS at 2026843436,the caller ID was Zimmerman Mervi and number calling was 2027412800 (which is the number of GWU MFA)

I got calls a few days ago, and left voice messages... saying to call (206)8491040 back to settle a claim against me...

I got an automated call from 253-843-6571 saying that it was the IRS and that I was being sued. I called back, but no one answered. I remembered hearing about the scams. I typed the number into the search engine and got an "unknown" company in Roy WA, US. Hope this helps.

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

Same scam happened to me 2 days ago. Called from 201-657-5061. Very heavy accent, name "Steve Evins". Where are these vermin come from? Sounded like African or Indian

got a call Feb.23,2015 from officer Alex Watson. Heavy accent. Middle eastern accent. Said he was with legal investigations of the IRS. Said federal action was being brought against us. I never called them back. 804-496-1074 is the number. March 2, 2015 got another call from a different heavy accented man saying he is from the IRS and this is the second call to us and we had to call them back or legal action against us would be taken. That number was 714-982-0315 from a Steve Martin. While I was typing this in the same number called me again so I answered it. It was just a recording of the same thing he said earlier. The caller ID says the name is Wanda C. Love. I hate scammers.

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

I received a call & voice message today. The number was 571-526-0009. A Man with Indian accent told me I was being sued by the IRS. He wanted my lawyers name or I would be arrested. I hung up.

Got another call today, almost everyday a call comes in on this IRS scam with various call back numbers. The VM today said to call 321-394-9033. I hope these criminals get the tables turned on them.

Got an automated message on voice mail saying "This will be the final message you will receive from the IRS. We have attempted several times to contact you regarding this matter. You are facing criminal actions and a law suit regarding your taxes. We urge you to contact us before the next step is taken. Please call us immediately to resolve this situation." Phone number was 271-317-0000 could tell it was a scam so keep an eye out for this one.

I was behind a few days on my voicemail. I only received the words," if this matter is not handled there will be an arrest warrant issued in your name for 90 days at the local sheriff's department. This is officer richard from the internal revenue service. Call back at this number to settle the issue, 7272425392, florida. I called the number and its a number that is not even assigned to anyone. I have heard of these scams but have never received one before. I went to the internet and read about the recent uptake in government scams. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Krista -- These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

Got a call from this scam -- 206-569-4739. Will report it momentarily.

The scams call us through and no name...

Please don't let the scams should lie telling to people.

1 (559) 884-5076 called & I told them I'll only hand deliver cash on hand. That's when he hang up

Got a call today from 800-429-1040, which is actually the IRS public helpline number. Woman with heavy Indian accent, said she was agent from the IRS, insisted that I was being charged with tax fraud, assaulting a federal agent, and money laundering. She said that I had 2 hours to clear my name. She asked that I write everything down on paper. Kept asking if I was innocent or guilty, and told me at least 3 times that I was being recorded. Call got dropped and she called back. I asked her name, she said "Emily Smith" and gave me an agent badge number, then my "case number". Kept going with this story but I stopped her and said she had to call me in 30 minutes since I was at work. Never heard back.

Please file a complaint about this IRS imposter with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov. You also can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

The worst part was, she insisted that the IRS had attempted to send me two letters, in August and November, which seemed plausible since I had moved last year and have been worried about missing mail, even with an appropriate address change. How would I know that the IRS doesn't call when letters aren't responded to? While I'm not usually so gullible, this is a sophisticated predatory scheme that plays on peoples doubts and fears with respect to taxes and the IRS. And the criminals seem to be getting more savvy about what they say, to make the stories seem more plausible. I'm lucky I didn't get scammed in the end.

Yes, this morning at 6:30 am. I asked how the IRS was open so early when government works from 8 am. The guy actually answered the phone "IRS." he froze and hung-up.

I used to work for the IRS and we worked around the clock during tax season processing the forms after they were turned in. My department (data conversion} was open 24 hours a day seven days a week; but we did not deal with the public during those crazy hours.

I am new immigrant to usa. I got call yesterday and they threatened me with arrest warrant. They asked me to share my computer screen and to transfer money to an individual irs officer. Fortunately the transaction failed but now they know my personal details. I also fear of they had copied some data in back ground from my machine although I was looking at screen the whole time. I can't believe that I got panicked and shared my personal information.

718.770.3523... i received the same call from an Indian accent person name Alex Brown.. stating that I going to have all my accounts frozen and to be ready with a lawyer because I was getting indicted by the IRS for not paying my taxes since 2009. Also I was about to get arrested from my home or job in the next few hours. he also provided me with an address the 5 moves ago and that it was my responsibility to let the IRS know of my new address every time I move. I found that super odd that the IRS did not know my current address since I've just filed my taxes not too long ago. this phone screwed with my head for the longest time at work and could not focus on what I was doing.. this sucks!

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