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It’s the IRS calling…or is it?

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Here at the FTC, we think about scams all day long. What are the scammers’ new angles? How can we keep ahead of them? We hear from people about the scams they see, and we turn that into tips people use to spot and avoid scams.

But scammers find FTC staff, just as they find the rest of America. My colleagues and I have even gotten calls on our work phones, offering reduced credit card interest rates, or claiming to be tech support calling about problems with our computers. We also get the calls at home. In fact, someone claiming to work for the IRS called my house just last week:

 

This has all the signs of an IRS imposter scam. In fact, the IRS won’t call out of the blue to ask for payment, won’t demand a specific form of payment, and won’t leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away. Have you gotten a bogus IRS call like this? If you did, report the call to the FTC and to TIGTA – include the phone number it came from, along with any details you have.

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I just received a voice mail, stating the I.R.S was having a lawsuit against me also. The phone no. was 509-207-4767. Makes you very worried at first. Glad its a scam, loved to see them in prison.

Received the exact same call. This is like the 4th or 5th time one of these calls has come in, exactly like what is posted on the audio recording on this page. The only difference is that the call-back number (not the call id) is different (360-861-4105). The Call ID was "Unavailable" and gave "1" as the number calling. A call back to the 360 number results in constant busy. Don't expect the FTC to do much. If the GOP and the Tea Party have their way, they will further reduce the budget of these protection agencies who are already operating with a budget that has been cut because of sequestration. I have an idea. Let's disconnect India and Nigeria from the Internet and telecommunications system. That way we can avoid a lot of these scammers and may benefit from having tech support services that actually deliver tech support!

Received the IRS phone scam call and it came from Campo,Ca, 619-378-0051. Same old line about lawsuit and I will be arrested. I usually don't answer the calls but this time I did. I know the IRS will notify by mail only, but enough is enough now!!!
Also my mother today received a phone call from 855-763-3147 asking for my father, who passed away nearly 15 years ago!!!! It was from AOL to reset a password. She doesn't even have a computer!!!Just too much, and it is very sad that some people fall foir these scams

Recorded message left with female robotic voice stating that "IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. This is your final notice" Then gave phone number to call. 360-262-6396. Caller did not give name as to who the "lawsuit" was being filed against. The wording of the message was also awkwardly phrased.Non-native English speaker? Within 5 minutes got another call, no message left, and also fax machine rang, but no message left

Just hung up with these scammers after getting several voice mail on home # telling me to call 866-978-7419. The intro message when you call says "Welcome to the Internal Revenue Service. Press 1...2...". They use threatening tactics, throwing around terms like "Intent to Defraud" and "Willful Misrepresentation", etc. Heavy Indian accent, hard to understand, but very aggressive and rude. Quite scary at first, but knowing that any legitimate action would have had to have been preceded by at least something in writing made me aware this was not legit. And to "Enough already" above-love the idea of turning the tables on them, had me laugh out loud at that one. Thanks.

866-978-7609 Automated messages ALL day! Scared me to death!!But it said I.R.S and officer would come to my house! I called # back after listening to vm. Just a bunch of beeps.

FYI just reported 360-807-5207. It was the fake IRS robo call about a lawsuit being filed against me using a recorded female voice similar to GPS. We're on the do not call list.

I received a voice mail yesterday. Could hardly comprehend the message. Was told to call #240-232-2197.xt. # 4165. I was being charged with intent to defraud and if I did not respond immediately I may have to go to Federal Court. So glad I went to this website and learned that the IRS will not contact me by phone. It is always by mail. So sad that people can use the brain they ar given to scam hard working people out of their hard earned money. They think they are so smart. Use the brain to make a living like most Americans do. s

Received the same robocall message from female caller on 4/8 with callback number 202-470-0872. Called the number back on 4/11 for grins. What a lowlife. Reported the incident to both IRS and FTC

Call received today, 4/14/15, from 347-349-5386. Reverse lookup stated Staten Island, NY.

Got this similar call today, 4/14/15, from IRS person was Niki Johnson and number was 323-739-7772. Reported on FTC website. Thanks for this blog and heads up!

Received Call from 3475591912, Supposed IRS call - contact a special IRS agent Michael Anderson.
Mention to be from IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and ask to contact a special IRS agent Michael Anderson by my lawyer because I have been listed as Primary Subject in a case fill by the IRS.

Found a message this morning on my answering machine - it was the robo-caller claiming to be IRS, file a lawsuit, call back immediately, just like the others. This one left a callback number of (509)588-7165.

Got a robo-call from 323-739-7772 and asked to call back that number. Called them back for fun (blocked my number first) and had a great time trolling the Indian scammers on the other line. I have called back a few times playing along for several minutes and irritating them. Have gotten cursed out a few times. Fun times. One guy admitted that we will never catch them since they have dozens of fake callback numbers. They are operating out of the US.

Also got a message from 779-552-6416. Robo call. Message started with "In regard to Federal Claim Courthouse. Kindly call us on the same number ..."

I got a fake IRS robo call today from 703-662-8272. Looked it up and it shows it's out of Sterling, VA. Similar message from and Indian speaking man. I have no intention of returning the call and hope he doesn't keep calling. I am going to report it but it probably won't do any good. I wish these crooks could be caught and put out of business.

I received an automated phone call from 845-928-1836 this morning traced from India (4/12/15). Call was IRS Sue phone scam. I knew about it and didn't bother to call back. Really irritating!

Got a call from this IRS scam; number is 347-983-5103. Same experience as those comments above who spoke to someone claiming from IRS and that I committed tax fraud. They said they sent two mails and since I never responded my case is due for filing for criminal charges, they will send it to the police, subpoena will be presented and they will detain me. Good thing I was messaging my husband while I was on the phone and we found out right away they were scam call. Especially when they offer a compromise so I wont have to face charges, I told them they're scam and they hung up. Beware of the number above. Again, IRS will NOT/NEVER call for any tax issues. They will send mail and give you notices and not harass you to pay right away. Or threaten you for that matter. Be alert and don't give out any personal information.

They need to do something about theses scams. My mother is 70 years old and was threatened to be thrown in jail for money that she knew she did not owe. She at first believed them and seriously thought about suicide. She said she would rather be dead than to be in prison. Well thank God that she realized this was a scam and she is still alive. I am so pissed off at this because my mother almost killed herself. Here is one number these evil people called from 202-241-6729. Also, one of these women pretended to be a sheriff officer over the phone and actually sang twinkle twinkle little star.

I was curious of where they wanted people to send these prepaid Visa cards to. So I called to let them believe that I had a card with $3492 on it, and said to them where do I send it. I believe the name they gave me was just some woman who is another one of their victims, I believe they stole this woman's identity. I would post the full name and address but, I would hate to think that someone would get the info from here and harass the woman behind it. They wanted me to overnight mail the Visa card to the address they gave me.

Scam Robo call from 253-220-9959 at 8:39 this morning... the Dept of Treasury saying I had to appear before a federal magistrate or grand jury for incomplete tax payments, or a warrant for my arrest would be issued. To call them back immediately to work out this problem.

I knew it was a scam from the beginning but called them back 4 times trying to get more info about them, but not giving up any info about myself. The person recorded in the Robo call and everyone I spoke to had a foreign accent - possibly from India. One of their tactics was saying this call is connected to our computers and if the call is terminated that federal officers and local police will be notified and be at my door within 45 minutes to arrest me. That the IRS will confiscate my bank accounts and other assets, put a lien on my home and cancel my drivers license. Each of the first 3 calls I made was terminated on their end... presumably to scare me that the disconnection meant the federal officers and local police would be on the way...

On the 4th call I finally was connected to "Senior Officer" David Williams Federal ID #11498 from the Dept of Treasury to work out paying my "owed $4872 in taxes, interest and penalties". He was the only one with any brains in the crew... He gave me his name and ID number so quickly I couldn't write it down, so I asked for it again. He was upset that I asked for his information again and said that I was recording the call because I was on speaker phone. He told me to take the call off speaker phone and I asked why... your on speaker phone on your end, why can't I be on speaker phone here... He said he would send the officers and they could better talk to me and to make sure I had a good attorney with me... At which point I was sooooo pissed off I lost it and told him which part of my EXPLETIVE anatomy he could kiss... that it was a great SCAM he was running... and the call was over.

I tried calling them back 2 more times but each time the phone rang once then I heard a click... then nothing, until it went to a busy signal. So I assume they put my phone number into their call system to block any further calls from me...

Then at 11:44 am the Robo call came through again. Unfortunately I didn't have my cell phone with me so I couldn't add it to the earlier recordings I made.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of the comments I read here about the IRS and FTC not really doing anything to pursue the people/groups making these scam calls. The government apparently can't be bothered to do anything about them, except collect whatever information is provided via the complaints made.

904-638-3781

They used same strategy as described.

I just received a phone call as well. At 1:20pm cst a 315-789-9404 called saying that the IRS has a lawsuit against me and to call back at 315-215-1094 for more information. I hope these people get caught and rot!

Got a call from US GOVERNMENT 305-982-5206.Brain left a message claiming to be an agent from the IRS.Needless to say I never return the call.

I received an automated message on my home phone stating they were calling from the IRS and that I was being sued. The message never asked for anyone by name and said to call them back at 206-249-7322. I did not call back however, d/t the fact that I know the IRS does not call, they contact you via postal service. Some people have nothing better to do but try and take advantage of people.

I HAVE RECEIVED 2 PHONE CALLS FROM THE SAME ROBOT. 202-864-1183 AND THEN A DIFFIERENT NUMBER THE NEXT DAY. 206-249-7322

Just received recording from IRS scammer named Alex Ferguson. Number to call: 818-396-1686. Caller ID showed his call came from 805-200-4857.

Received IRS message on Friday May 1st leaving a number to call 360-566-2902

Same here scam call from 703-662-8272, this is the 4th time. Indian or Pakistani accent, obviously a scam but my concern is for the elderly or easily manipulated out there who are unaware this is a scam. Unfortunately, as a foreign-based scam, i doubt there is anything the US can do.

Like many others (now that I have researched this), I received a "robo call sounding" message that a lawsuit has been filed against me by the IRS and gave a phone number of 646-216-1247.I called the number back and a man said he was with the IRS and our phone call was being recorded and that he was going through the entire situation and that I should not interrupt him as everything recorded could be used against me in court. He had a thick accent, but spoke English fairly well. He said that a lawsuit has been filed against me with four counts (Arrearage, violation of IRS regulation, Theft by Deception, and Willful Failure to (??couldn't understand him). My taxes were audited for 2008-2012 and I had an outstanding amount owed to IRS and that I had not paid my taxes. He stated that it was due probably to mistakes or miscalculations. They can file a lien, alert the credit bureau, seize my passport and if I am not a US Citizen, I could be deported. He said that an IRS representative came to my house on 9/25/14, 10/29/14, and 11/23/14 and no one was home. They cannot leave anything at our house or send anything in the mail or else it would violate my privacy. That is why I hadn't received anything yet. Since I have no criminal history, the IRS would like to work with me to resolve this matter. I was then asked, "Do you want to resolve this by working together or do I have to file in court?" I said, "I don't even know what the problem is, so I cannot answer the question." He said that he couldn't give anything out on the phone, but said that I had to make an appointment and go the IRS office in M********** (which he completely butchered the pronounciation). Now this is a small town and I know for a fact that there is no IRS office in my town. I asked the address, he said that he could not give me the address until I made an appointment. I told him that I was at work and was not in town. He said "What is more important, your job or the IRS?". I said that I was in a different town and could not get back home until later on. He asked what town I was in because I could go to that office. I told him that I needed to call my husband and I asked for his name. He said his name was RAY FLECK. I went to the IRS website and saw the information about the phone scam. I called him back and tried to play it cool and I said that I checked with my job and if I skipped lunch, I could leave early and I could be at the M************ office by 3 pm. I asked for an appointment. He said that he couldn't give me an appointment right then, but I needed to call back at 1:30 pm. I said "I thought this was an emergency?" He said that he didn't believe that I was able to be there at 3 pm, but that I needed to call back at 1:30 pm. He was getting very terse and snappy with me at this point. I said, "I am skipping lunch today and leaving early, but the earliest I can arrive is 3 pm. I want to make an appointment." He got really snappy and said "I don't believe that you are going to be there so I am not giving you the address until you call back at 1:30." At this point I said "SCAMMER" and I hung up the phone. Reported to Tax Inspector and FTC.

Got two calls yesterday back-to-back on IRS scam. Numbers were 726-596-6514 and 360-464-1123. Filed a complaint, as well.

There is a new professional sounding IRS scammer.
His fictional name is Officer Adam Webster. The message he leaves is a little more real sounding than the usual scammers is. And he leaves a phone number based out of D.C. (202-684-7701). If you look the number up it goes to a private number in the Washington, D.C. area.

I got 2 calls from 1-909-660-5519 saying I owe taxes and I need a lawyer to call them if I don't they will arrest me. I knew right away they were scammers and I told them I wasn't stupid to fall for their scam . The guy called me a nasty name and hung up on me .

Just got tow back to back lawsuit calls 360-464-1123.. and 360-474-4713 Beware.. I called it back and its the same voice with a british accent saying the receiver is not there leave a message.. I want to turn these people in!

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this. We can't address complaints you write about in blog comments.

Got a scam call from IRS saying they have been trying to reach me and that they were filing a lawsuit against me. The number was 202-470-6094. I reported it to the FTC.

I just received a call claiming to be the IRS. An automated message was left in voicemail stating "This is the IRS. We have started a lawsuit against you. Contact us back at 360-566-2902." I called the number back only to hear a busy signal.

just got a call showing up as San Antonio TX, pre-recorded saying IRS and have been trying to reach me. I know I shouldn't have any IRS problems, just a warning

got the IRS scam call from 347-535-0614

I received a scam call from an automated IRS message last night at 5:30 p.m. telling me I was going to be sued. I was given a number to call. there was sound in the background, and a man with a mideast accent spoke to me giving me his badge number. He said he was from Texas, and the police were coming to arrest me. He also told me they would take my house and everything I owned. I told this man I was calling the police. The policewoman told me that the police know all about this scam, and that I was right to call the police. I worry about the little old lady who is called, and is terrified about this phone call. the police need to arrest whoever is doing this. This was the first call of this nature I ever received.

We got a call this past Monday from people claim to be IRS and said they were filing a lawsuit and for us to call them immediately at 360-566-2902. I did not call them but did report it.

I just got a call today from 202-697-9483 stating they were the IRS Criminal Investigation Unit and that we needed to call back 202-697-9483 within the hour or may have serious charges. Insane.

Tell your friends, parents, etc. Put it on facebook, twitter, etc.

I received a message to call the IRS, I called and got an Indian man explaining the need to call back and make an appointment with a tax agent, called this am and got this man,Dominic Mathews, in DC. his number was BS 44982, badge number 0693, I called him on his scam, he said do you know who you are talking to an agent of the IRS?, I said you are not an agent of the IRS, you are a scammer, he told me he would have the police here in a few minutes to arrest me for slandering an agent of the IRS. I told him I knew he was in India, he tried to trace my telephone number as another threat, stated the city where I live and said the cops would be here soon, I told him I knew he was in India and he would be arrested soon too. H became flustered and said Jesus, I said that Jesus could not help him now, I will report him and he will be found out.

I would like the bureau to find and file charges against these people, using the IRS to scare elderly people is disgusting. As far as I know they are based near Dehli , India. using a number as 866-978-0622, the recording states you have reached the office of the Internal revenue Service.then goes to a number in India.

Claims that these scams are difficult to resolve because of tech don't seem to address the issue that tech can also be used to counter-attack these call centers. VOIP still leaves a trail of connectivity regardless of how phone exchanges resolve at a user's called ID service. If the FED GOV really wanted to stop these punks, then I'd expect it would happen instead of making excuses. Perhaps just too busy dealing with other cyber-threats such as the constant attacks from China. Problem is, the scope of the problem is probably vastly unknown since I expect many victims won't even report it. One simple strategy would be to mount a campaign of public awareness. Instead - silence! It would be funny if not so tragic with real people being hurt.

got similar call from 347-620-7136. Seems to be a lot of Staten Island numbers mentioned here.

Received one of those calls today the number they left me to call back was 512-961-8514 the guy was a jerk and could hardly understand him

Just got a scam call from 415-799-8333 IRS's Nikki Johnson said I am being investigated for tax fraud. She asked do you want me to review with you what it is about. I said sure, she said how do you spell your name, then asked for my SSN number, I said you cant ask for that as a Government Employee over the phone. She argued with me and got angry yelling at me when I told her she was a fraud! Ha Ha love getting them mad.

Just got another one of these calls, and read through these posts. I suspect that the perpetrators are reading these comments and changing their names, phone numbers, etc. based on what gets posted here.
The latest one I got claimed they were from the IRS, and gave the name Brad King, from Middlesex Sheriff's office in Massachusetts with the main number from the website. Did the usual huffiness, and the threat to come arrest me if I hung up the phone and didn't pay their bogus sum, demanded immediately. Little detail, its hard to arrest someone that is no only out of state, but out of the country, on a cellphone. That little detail earned me a hangup.

I think that what earned me the call was pressing #1 on a robocall claiming that I would be taken off the robocall list. Those are always suspicious to me. More than likely they are trying to establish if anyone is answering on the phone number.

When you get illegal sales calls or robocalls, it's best to ignore them. Don't interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person or call back. That just leads to more calls.  You can report the details about the call at ftc.gov/complaint.

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