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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.

Comments

Just received a call fr 509-392-6377 said from IRS w/ a lawsuit against me. I called them back and "Jessica Smith" asked for my info, I asked for hers and she kept asking me back. I said your not w/ the IRS and she rambled a few things and said thank you goodbye. So sad that they are preying on people that are not able to understand.

received calls on 5/20 and 5/21/2015 from 703-542-1703 claiming to be IRS. did not respond.

I just got a call today from a 323 area code number and it was automated saying that it was its a d they demand payment otherwise criminal charges will be pursued. Worst part is that at the beginning of the message they said the phone call was for my baby who died at birth. Right there I knew it was a scam.

Looks like I am getting the same thing that has been repeated on here several times - I get a robo call saying it is the IRS & I am being sued & that I need to call back right away. The calls have come from all over - New York to California. 845-213-1523 (2x), 202-738-4467, 209-266-1395 (2x)

We got a call from 352 404 5816 and a certain Austin Cooper of the IRS from the US Treasury. He said if we don't pay $3450.53 at that moment by the use of a credit card that he will generate a warrant of arrest for us. He also said his badge number is 11536. Be careful!

2028641183 & 3604641123 spooked me with a call today. Love technology.

If the FTC wanted to stop the scammers I would think that it could do a reveres trace on the telephone numbers used by the scammers to get a physical location for the phony call center. It could then send the appropriate agents to shut the scammers down, The telephone numbers seemed to change each time I received similar calls from the "I.R.S." claiming that a lawsuit was filed against me or a tax lien would be filed unless I immediately returned a telephone call to a number other than the number listed on my caller I.D. The accent on what sounded to be a recording appeared to be Caribbean in nature and used either a 425 or 703 area code. Needless to say I did not return any call to an unknown area code to avoid getting charged for an international telephone charge for some offshore location. If someone were to appear at my door without proper paperwork my S&W will make the appropriate reply to the thieves. Since the recording appeared to be a robocall,and did not mention my name or social security number (which the caller claimed to possess), it appeared to be a scam which I ignored except to check the various websites to see how prevalent the scam might be.

I hear ya. Our government must have the technology to trace these scumbag scammers. You are always reading in the news about the victims being sucked in by scams, but when do you ever hear about any of them getting busted?? I received two calls that went to my answering machine from 509-203-4357 out of Washington state. With very little effort, I was able to find out the company responsible for these calls (Level 3 Communications, LLC) out of Grand View, WA, as well as their land line number (877-253-8353). Apparently there was no live people at 2:30 p.m. only a menu of various departments. Funny thing was that all numbers went to voice mail, but for their "security" for which a number was given (800-348-5457). I spoke to the guy who informed me that Level 3 Communications wholesales phone numbers to carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, etc. Funny thing is that the number that called me is registered to Level 3! This was fairly easy info to dig up. The company is physically located in Washington state, so why isn't any branch of law enforcement nailing these crooks? I just don't get it.

These are useful details for a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

It's sort of ridiculous that this scam has been going for years now. It seems the FTC and FBI can't handle something as simple as this?

Today I had a voicemail from 911. It said if I did not call back within 4 hours the Attorney Generals office would issue an warrant for my arrest, and I would be arrested immediately. For what was not said. They were already speaking when the message started and never addressed me by name or for what for or how much. I say scam. There is not a debtors jail anymore.

New number to add to the IRS scam list: 202-684-6530.

I rec'd a call on 5/28/2015 it was a female recorded voice that was recorded on our answering machine it said: Hello. We have been trying to reach you. This call is official final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Services. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number 202-864-1183. Our caller ID just said it was coming from Washington DC. I did not return call I went to IRS website and reported them.

I just took the time to file a complaint. I received a phone call from the "IRS" today with a number (206-462-5330) to call back so I don't get arrested. However, after reading all these comments, I have to say I am very disheartened. I immediately filed the complaint thinking the FTC would be able to shut these people down before anyone else gets scammed. But my impression now is that nothing is done. It appears the complaints just go into a giant file that no one looks at. It would be easy for the FTC to call back this number and shut them down but it looks like the scammers are allowed to run rampant. I know it takes money and time to go after criminals but the government has to also look at the bigger consequences. The less you do about crime, the more crime you have. I have noticed a big increase in these types of calls this year and it makes sense if there is little effort to prosecute these people.

Thank you for filing a complaint. The details in your complaint go into the Sentinel database, which is used by state, federal and international law enforcement agencies.

Every piece of information helps. Share as much information as you feel comfortable with. FTC and other law enforcement agencies analyze complaints to spot trends and to take legal action against wrongdoers. After you report what happened, you might not hear from the FTC, but please know that your report helps the community.

Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information, so the number you report probably isn’t real. Without more information, it’s difficult for us to identify the actual caller. Even so, the FTC uses complaint data to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns.

3474671092. IRS Investigation department, Introduced as alicia brown, chief officer. Threatening arest within 45 minutes. Left message after I disconnected the call that police in on its way to my work. What can I do to punish this person to the fullest?

These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

I have already lost the money in the scam by not knowing about this IRS scam. Is there any compensation or money is credited back if we file a complaint?

You can file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Investigators look for patterns in the complaints people submit. When you tell us about your experience and all the details you can remember, it helps law enforcement.

If we bring a law enforcement action related to the scam you report, we can often help a lot of people and stop a scam. Sometimes – but not always – we can get some money back for the people hurt by the scam.

May 19th got a call from 512 961 8514 threatening lawsuit but was not automated. Today Jonathan Knight from 206 317 1551 said he was from Federal Investigation Department of IRS badge #06719 & we had record of fraud & misconduct but he left no phone number to call back! I'm on the DNC list -- I don't get it?!?!

Recording says he is from the IRS and I will be in big trouble if I or my lawyer do not get in contact with him soon... LOL as if the government would conduct themselves this way - what an idiot!

I WORK for the IRS - in Security in that I work with IRS employees with their Smart Card employee IDs AND I got the same phone call on my home phone last week, that I am going to be sued if I didn't call back.

So I called back the number that was on my phone's call log - 202-864-1229 (no DC IRS office has an 864 exchange), at an odd time/day, knowing no IRS office in the 202 area would be working at that time. Then I asked the person to spell their name for me; and provide me with their ID number. They wouldn't spell their name (all IRS personnel on a phone will, if asked) and ALL IRS employees have a 10-digit ID number that they are to provide to taxpayers when they are asked for it - some automatically will give out the number. The number provided me wasn't 10-digits; and it wasn't all numbers; it started with an alpha code combination "D" -- hummmm, another big indicator of a scam, IRS ID numbers start with the number "1."

Just got a phone call that was picked up by my voicemail, i was busy and could not answer. The area code was 347 from the NY area. She had a thick Indian accent and said that I was being investigated and that I should call tem immediately or the will send everything to the court system. I have no idea what they are talking about and of course i knew right away that it was a scam, the first one on my cell phone, which really took me by surprise. I deleted the call right away. If i get another one, i will report it to the FTC.

Got the same call again today, same woman with slight Indian accent (i know the accent because I work with people from India) the number was 347-989-4972. I told her not to call again , that i gave her number to the FTC. She politely say 'ok that's fine, thank you' and hung up.

Same stuff today. Very close number: 347-9894958, Indian accent.
The question is what can they do with my name, work cell phone number and the zip code. They didn't have anything else.

Just made a complaint for 844-584-0764. Same MO as most scammers, starts with a recording saying "this is the IRS, we are freezing your assets and someone will be coming to your door to finish your paperwork" then leaves this number that does come up on caller ID.

Rec'd call from 202-864-1311, Out of Area. Didn't answer. Woman recording came on answering machine informing me that the IRS going to file a lawsuit against me & for me to call the number back. Needless to say I didn't call back. Bring the lawsuit on. I totally agree with the comments of some that if the FTC themselves are receiving these calls, what the heck are they doing besides just sitting on their duffs doing nothing apparently. So why are we wasting our time informing them of anything because it appears to me they aren't going to do anything except draw a paycheck just like so many others of our fabulous government employees.

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. You can 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 got a message on our voicemail today saying the IRS is suing us. the number was 832-251-7353 Call me stupid, but I am pretty sure the actual IRS would mail an Official letter.

I just received a call from 206-488-1123. Sent it to voicemail and this is what the canned robotic style message left said:

"I have a message for you. This call is from the Internal Revenue Service. The very second you receive this message I need you or your retained attorney of record to return the call. The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive. My name is officer Adam Webster and direct line to my division is 206-488-1123. I repeat 206-488-1123. Now if you don't return the call and I don't hear from your attorney either then the only thing I can do is wish you good luck as the situation unfolds on you. Goodbye and take care."

Obviously bogus as the number was reported numerous times on the internet and originates from the STATE of Washington. I wonder if people just see Washington and freak and call back??

Received a call from 011-360-5662 saying the IRS is suing me and to call 360-566-2902 to resolve the problem. It is a scam originating from overseas somewhere. The IRS sends a certified letter. Do not call the number, you are not in trouble.

Just got call threatening to file lawsuit and to call back for more info to 253-292-2563

I received a call from 509-295-4458 this evening. Was able to play back the message to get the recording - it was not a live person:

"This call is officially a final notice from IRS...Internal Revenue Services. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing lawsuit against you. To get more information about this this case file, please call immediately on our department number 509-295-4458. I repeat 509-295-4458. Thank you."

Definitely a scam - I have NO plans to call back.

I received a call from 323-570-4743, strong accent, demanding payment, claiming to be an IRS Agent. My heart goes out to those who actually pay out of fear.

Got a call from 360-406-4679. Said they were from Internal Revenue Services and to call immediately to get information on the lawsuit being filed.

received several calls in last 3 months,from someone claiming to be from irs-know its a scam because I retired and have no income to report-told them to come and get me so I can get a free meal,of course nobody came-so I wait faithfully for them.reported three diff phone numbers-why cant they get them.

I got a call similar saying they were suing me using 425-296-7673.

I just got a call from 203-340-6914 saying her name was Kristi something from IRS but she sounded Indian. She said that she was calling regarding a case#IR102070, that there was a problem with my taxes and that she was going to send my file to the police for me to be arrested. I was like "What?" I always file my taxes correctly and with someone else and we always make sure everything is correct. The woman was rude and yelling at me and she was saying "we are not joking, you are going to be arrested." then I just hung up and Googled about that phone number, it's a scam. She knew my full name and home address, but was trying to get more info by asking questions, that's when I realized it was a scam and hung up.

I received "IRS" calls 2 days in a row. We hung up on the 1st one, but I had discussions with the 2nd. The call was from 202-470-3234 which is a D.C. area code. Told me I owed taxes from 3 years, but could not tell me specifically how much each year or tell me my employers for any of those 3 years. They had my name and address. They said I could either agree to pay the taxes and they would prepare the paperwork or if I didn't agree, they would order a warrant and come arrest me. Eventually, he even said, I had to have "cash in my hand" and they would send an agent to come pick it up "on my doorstep". "Jerry Black" had a foreign accent and eventually I wore him down and he agreed to let me speak to a supervisor. When I asked Supervisor "Mark Adams" also with a foreign accent, to demonstrate they were legitimate by telling me the amount for each year or the names of my employers, he hung up. They were very well rehearsed and regurgitated information from the IRS website, like "the IRS doesn't take credit cards or bank cards over the phone". Then he said..."or a check". What the heck, no check? All traceable for those scammers! I contacted the IRS to check my account status, which is ok, and I reported them to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. Before I block their phone number, I'm waiting on another call so I can tell them they've been reported. I've also updated our phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.

Exact same recording - Call 509-588-7197. Sadly there are people who freak out and believe these shysters.

JUNE 9,2015
received call from scammer Alex Ferguson(same name as post from BrunoDon'tuse on May 1,2015) Call back number was 567-263-0027. Scammer said he was from Treasury Dept. (used same exact language as reported in April 23 post by AngryinMi.) East Indian accent. Surely govt. could go after these scammers if they really wanted to. Phone companies are reaping a fortune so they don't care. Takes a toll on taxpaying seniors.

Just got 6 calls from "Alan Ferguson" Call back number was 567-242-0560. East Indian accent. Stop calling me you fraudster jerks!

509-588-7318 Got 3 calls on June 10, 2015. Irritating to keep answering phone with this IRS scam.

Someone called me 8 times today (6/11/15) from 347-627-0381 (Brooklyn, NY). When I finally answered (they wouldn’t leave a voice mail), a man introduced himself as Smith something (can't remember his first name). He said that he is from IRS Investigation department and that they reviewed my taxes for the last year and I will be audited for tax evasion (he was very rude, almost yelling!). When I asked again his name, he said it again and provided me with a badge # 6020273. Very heavy foreign accent, maybe British. Oh, he also threatened that he will send the police to my work to arrest me!!!

The IRS left a recorded message claiming they were bringing criminal action against me.

Message from 206-317-1701 to call back about a lawsuit filed by the IRS. I blocked my cell# and called, the line was busy for 5-6 attempts then finally rang for a couple of minutes then British accent recording that the person was not available

Got a call and was claimed he was the Head of the Investigation Dept of the IRS. I asked what the suing me for and he was like you don't know we sent you a letter. He could not tell me why they were suing me. I became really mad once he told me my address so I stared cussing him out. His response to ne was watch your language with me. Which mad me more mad. The number I called was 360-450-0205. Don't the treating that you have the cops coming after me and not expect to get cussed out. You hardly speak English dude. After a while I sat here and thought how much of a low life loser do you have to be to sit there all day and do this crap.

Had a message from IRS saying they had filed a law suit against me . For me to call 917-387-4638 to find out more about it.

Now they are using 716-562-6564 and I have team of people flooding this line. Such a bad scam artist indeed. I hate to hear of anyone falling for it.

I received the same recorded phone message. I looked up the number using the TrueCaller app. It gave me the man's name. His name is Abeer Khidr in Seattle Washington. Y'all have the man's name and where he lives now. GO TAKE HIM DOWN AND THROW HIM IN PRISON!

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