My very own IRS imposter call

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“Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.” That was the message on my answering machine when I returned home from work.

My kids were scared. They asked: “What does it mean they are filing a lawsuit? Can they send you to jail? Shouldn’t you call them back?”

IRS Imposter Scams

IRS Imposter Scams
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Working at the FTC, I knew the call was a fake. I’d heard that IRS imposter scams are on the rise. Earlier that day, I’d even given a webinar on IRS imposter scams as part of the FTC’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.

I calmly explained that there was no reason to worry. It couldn’t possibly be the real IRS. Why?

  • When you have a tax problem, the IRS will first contact you by mail, not by phone.
  • The IRS won’t threaten arrest, deportation or loss of a driver’s license. 
  • The IRS won’t demand that you make payment right away.
  • The IRS won’t ask you to wire money, pay with a prepaid money card, or ask you to share credit card information over the phone. 

“But aren’t you going to at least call them back?” the kids persisted. “No,” I explained, “if I do, they’ll just pressure me for money or ask for information that they can use to get my money. That’s the way this scam works.” 

So, what did I do instead? I wrote down the phone number so I could report the call to the FTC and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). If I’d been concerned that maybe I owed money to the IRS, I knew that I could check with the IRS directly by calling 1-800-829-1040.   

That evening, I learned first-hand that these IRS imposter calls can happen to anyone. Once my kids were convinced that I wasn’t going to jail, we all sat down to dinner.   

For more information on IRS imposter scams and tax identity theft, visit ftc.gov/taxidtheft.

Comments

how could these imposters be stopped or charged or put in jail? because the calls are happening more frequent than ever, and the same group uses different phone numbers and called me several times.

I waited for 15 minutes on the phone to talk to the FCC only to be told that they don't hand "IRS" fraud calls. I then tried to contact the FTC but gave up -- especially after I read these. The scam number I got (202) 241-2693 from "Office Jack Cooper" of the "IRS in Washington DC" has apparently been spewing out the same fraud game since 2013 -- and FTC has not put an end to that number... amazing. I guess it's just too much work to protect people by having the phone company immediately shut down access.... I know they pop up again eventually but for TWO YEARS from the same phonbe listing is absurd. This is NOT a spoofed number...

You can file a consumer complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. When you file a complaint, you can provide the details from your comment.

so, FTC doesn't take action on the scammers, but instead provides this outlet for consumers to list their experiences so others can compare notes. Up to the consumers to find the FTC complaint website and check it from time to time and see the latest scam. hmm

To read about the FTC's legal actions against scammers and schemes, go to our Press Release page. To view the list of more than 100 companies and people that are banned, by federal court orders, from participating in the business of debt collection, go to Banned Debt Collectors.

Go to FTC cases resulting in refunds to view information about 30 recent cases, and how to request a refund if you were harmed. In 2014, the last year for which figures are available, 743,111 people received redress of more than $65.2 million.

This blog is not the FTC's consumer complaint site; the complaint site is ftc.gov/complaint. When you make a complaint, the information goes into a database that is accessible only to law enforcement. The FTC blog - and comments from blog readers - often alert people to current scams. We encourage readers to report scams at ftc.gov/complaint so law enforcement can have the information.

 

I just got a call today same message from a 347 418 0603 Indian accent. When I asked if he worked for the irs he hung up I knew it was a scam then

I too just got that same message. Some people really are awful. The # that called me was 262-384-8761. The guy did answer when I called it back.
But I hung up on him again. Scammer

Got one today from 434 535 2066....same thing saying IRS was filing a lawsuit against me...last week it was from another number...this needs to be stopped

213-709-4510. Same type of messages. Extremely unnerving at first.

I got today same type of call twice. Called back. They ask to resolve problem or I will be jailed in 20 min. When I asked how to resolve and where I have to send check, they said it should be done by phone and they will lead me through process. Fortunately I knew, that IRS will never ask for money by phone. It was very nervous experience, especially for my wife.

I've gotten 4 voicemail messages over the past week, 3 supposedly from the IRS and one from US Treasury. All claimed I was about to be arrested for tax fraud, and 2 left case numbers (different ones). The call-back numbers were 732-825-8088, 716-245-6085, 818-319-3523, and 818-436-6111. Two of the messages were left on Sunday afternoon! I of course will not return the calls -- anything else I should do?

You did the right thing. It's best to ignore calls like these. 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.

I got the same call voice message today and the number to call back was 347-418-0574. It sounded like an automated voice, as opposed to someone live actually calling.

they messaged me today but the number was #800-422-8068. Same message

Yeah a 202 area code number called me and keep calling me talking bout a criminal law suit smh I thought it was real til I thought what could I have done.

I got the same call only using phone number 213-289-3862 from "Officer Adam Smith" (straight out of India.)

I just got a call today twice..first message i can hear this man (indian accent) talking to someone in a different language while i can hear other phone calls being made. Then they called right back and told me to call back saying they are from irs but it was a NY number.

Saw your post and wanted to share my experience. I never called back to any of the calls I got but after being alarmed hearing the first message , I figured it was a scam. On a day on May 2016 I got a call from New Orleans la.at about 12:00. Got a 2nd call about an hour later from same number same location same message. About another hour later I got a call from the same number but this time it was from Mexico. Same message. I wondered how the same number could be from Louisiana and Mexico. The next day same call same message this time from New Hampshire. About an hour later same message from Illinois. If anyone reads this just realize how these people work and to what extent they will go to trick you. Be careful.

I got a call form someone claiming to be from the irs today as well. I called the number back and a guy answered, lots of noise in the background. I was disconnected, so I called back. Someone answered, he was speaking another language to someone else. He finally acknowledged me. I asked who I was speaking with he said JT in a very thick Indian accent. I then asked what company he was calling from, he then swore at me and said you called me and you ask what company. I hung up. I knew that as professionals the IRS would never revert to foul language just for simply asking them a legitimate question.

My calls are coming from 212-400-1279 watch out!!!

I just got a call today from 1(202)864-0154, then they called me back from 1-703-406-6858. This was after they said that if i lost the origanal call there was nothing else they could do for me. and yes all 2 or 3 guys and 1 lady sounded like they were straight out of the middle east. My wife called the IRS hotline and had the lady look up both of our names and she said there was nothing on them, that everything was fine.

received a call today from 1-206-317-1576. Said it was the IRS and I had an illegal case against me. I need to call back immediately or legal allegations would happen. They didn't say my name or give me a number to reference. I called on another phone and people where talking in the background and then he finally said IRS. I just reported it online.

I answered a call from Bainbridge, Washington, and the automated woman's voice said in American English exactly the phrase that the original poster said. I called them back on my work phone, and on the first ring a person answered and said "this is officer John Smith from the IRS, how can I help you?" in an Indian accent. LOL!

I said "sorry, you can't" and hung up.

I work in Information Security for a large corporation and see these kinds of things all the time, usually via e-mail. NEVER FEAR and never feel like you have to respond, especially to e-mails, unless it is clear and proven that the communication is legitimate. In this case it is definitely not.

John Smith 206-823-3830 and 614-906-3147 just called me, I'm only 22 so I was pretty afraid until I contacted my aunt who has been criminal attorney of 32 years.

My husband just got a recorded phone call about an hr ago from a number with the same area code....206....they said that a warrant has been issued for his arrest!

I just received a call from 206-701-5902. They spoke with a thick Indian accent, I could hear other calls in the background and they said they were sending deputies to my house as soon as we hung up, that an arrest warrant has been issued for me! This is very scary!

received a call today 360-326-2280(Vancouver)stating it was a final call from irs to inform me they were filing a lawsuit.last week call from 503-739-3523 saying same thing. I filed my taxes in February and believe me if I owed taxes I would not have gotten a refund.Block does my taxes and has for 15 years. tese scammers need to be caught and sent back to where ever they come from.

I received numerous calls from various out of state or out of country numbers ; last night at 10pm est. a voice mail was left from 206-258-7931; at first I was alarmed (because approx 18 yr's ago I had my identity stolen) and it happened again in 2007/2009 n I did not know (due to economic crash) until 2013 when I went to finally lease a new vehicle again.

(An actual "dealership" that I purchased a used vehicle from in January 2009; and turned in my lease too - never disconnected me from my turned in jeep! (Which had I been able to purchase it at the price they sold at auction I would of done so instantly in lieu of buying a used mini van that I later had to pay to have a dealer take it from me- when leading a new vehicle!) approx $2900 in negative equity + remaining bank amount owed.

Long story; I had fear that a case was built against my name / info due to the various times my bank account has been "hit" and for identity theft (it never leaves you!). However I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to post your story. Because I was extremely upset and ready to contact the guy back." (Officer Daniel Weinman) at Internal Revenue Service"(206)258-7931. Message left on my cell phone on 6/27/2016. What indicated to me to google "would Irs contact me stating a criminal case ...,.) was the "officer" stated "this is a time sensitive matter and if you- or your attorney does not return my call then I can only wish you luck with what will unfold on you!" I rather thought that was odd ? Also I have owed the Irs in the past - they are very easy to work with regarding payments. I had little trouble setting up modest payments until my following tax return which they kept to off set my balanced owed from a previous yr. - however unlike other stories I have just read. I'm unsure if anyone received a case number when their "officer" contacted them? This guy gave me one via voice mail? Can anyone state if you received a case number? I do plan to notify the Irs and verify this call but based on the other stories along with the 206# and Various other state/ out of state numbers left im hopeful it's a scam. ?!

I did also have a west Virgina - Louisiana and NY missed contact number call. But my phone is used for business and personal and I get a lot of sales auto calls. This guy sounded auto mated and did not use my name in his message - just a case number CF 297613 has been charged against you in a criminal investigation. Criminal (would not ) be owning money and attempting to pay via installment payment plans. Possibly tax evasion could be deemed as criminal but not if you have paid your taxes n /or file them yearly. This is terrible that scammers can not be caught!! I know of several people that out of fear sent money or other requested items. One who notified the police thereafter and contacted authorities such as fbi fraud investigations He never got his money back - and occasionally received a letter stating authorities are working on it. Needless to say ; in this day and age; authorities such as fbi have greater national concerns than tela marketing scams. However it is good to contact the credit burea on occasion. Even if you have less than perfect credit. Because you could be easily a victim of identity theft and merely assume your credit is poor because of outstanding credit cards / shut offs and/ or on going medical debt. Also most banking institutions will tell you (not at window. Schedule an apt to look at new checking acct ) if their are alias in your name. That's how I recently discovered that I was hit again this year ! (4/2016) a new name (version of my real one) was established and we have no clue to how. In fact one medical bill I have been paying on has sent receipts to this new name. Last I checked I did not change my name legally. Thx u for those that shared. I wanted to return the favor by sharing my experiences. Best regards

Today I also got a message on my cell phone, from a 202-370-6713 Washington# from an (Officer Daniel Weinman) stating a claim or lawsuit against me and if he did not hear from me or my attorney then there was nothing he can do but to wish me luck and the situation will unfold on you. He left a case #Cf.....and a direct # to his desk 202-459-4693. I know its a scam. I don't owe any taxes nor have I been fraudulent, so there would be no reason to be contacted, and I would have been notified by mail if they needed to. I also got a call about 3 months ago on my home phone, I didn't answer, but listened to the message, If I did not respond then a warrant would be filed. Thank you for letting me share my experience.

Just checked my voice mail, Daniel Wiseman or wieman 202 459 4681, cf93271 case number. I immediately got a cash card, and money grammed the balance, not. ...thanks for posting I'm not falling for it. Thank you again, this man doesn't change his name much

Got same call from a Ryan Scott IRM2813 saying i owed $7986. Heavy indian accent from a 2137065479 number. Gave me a case number CP10173T. Please be careful on giving any information to these people. Big time scam!!!

I have been getting the exact call for the past few days From officer Daniel Wiesman 202-459-4681. very persistent igot nervous at first, but they never said my name and the good luck ending was strange. so I googled IRS scams I am good to go now...

Same story... Tom Fernandez called me about a IRS lawsuit against me ... Case # CP10173T. I called me from a cell phone 424-305-8547.
I talked to long with him. Gave him the last 4 digits of my SS# in order to have him discuss the case with me !!!!

I can CONFIRM that this is a scam, because a lady by the name of Anna Christ, told me that her badge ID number was CP10173T.. same as yours, different name.

I got the exact same message today 7/21 from an officer Daniel Weinman or Wiseman threatening me with a criminal lawsuit. The number I was to call back was 202 459 4681. my case number was the same too cf93271

I just got the same call. Was scared at first. I did call back and they asked for my address. I said no you should have it. Then they gave me a wrong address. I said that's not where I live. And hung up.The number I from Jasper,IN 812-827-4851

I received the same exact call with the same name and number. Yes they gave me a "case file" number. Scam. Received another one today with different number, a woman who gave no name, telling me the IRS had a lawsuit against me.

yes, I also received a case number and the threat of 4 counts of defrauding the government and so on. Had me pretty upset for a bit until it was clear it was a scam. Many specifics including the only years that I actually filed. Left out the 2years that I didn't, which is why I even gave her time of day in the first place. Was probably a coincidence. Threatened $75,000 fines, 5 yr imprisonment, blacklisted s.s.# (means no license, financial aid and etc etc she said) bank account frozen and house repossessed. Asked if I intentionally defrauded and that 3 written notices were sent via certified mail when I asked where is this claim in writing, and so on. It did become clear quickly and doubted from the first second, was only that they only stated the years I actually filed that got my interest. I knew I didn't do anything wrong, just don't trust the government or judicial systems for most part, so thought for a second, what if?!
I am so sorry for all that you have gone through with identity theft and how its affected your life! I hope you have a much more peaceful and uneventful future in that regard. God bless!

I got the same call on my cell from 323-729-3061. I called back on my work phone - first person hung up. I called again and got some one with badge No. IRM 12599. When I asked with IRM stood for the phone became garbled and so I hung up. Third time I called no answer. Fourth time I an Indian accent came on the line and I said are you Rocky from India? Hung up.

I just got a call from (917) 769-5439. Badge #IRM 0421 said I owed $5,987. I might have gotten sucked in- thanks for posting, folks! I'm glad I googled as I listened!

I got a call from (989)717-8840. Scam. Said the same thing. Voice mail and all. Received multiple calls.

I have received several calls telling me IRS finally call lawsuit against me and to call 717-378-1982. I called and told them I know it's a scam and they got mad at me.

just got a call today and yesterday same message from a 562-229-8698 and 844-441-1440 from an officer Jim. When I asked if he worked for the irs he hung up I knew it was a scam then

Additional IRS lawsuit scam number 347-418-0602.

I have been receiving calls from someone calming to be from the irs as well. I basically got the same threat and they demanded that i resolve the issue right away. Or coarse i was afraid and panic but i also know i never had a problem with the internal revenue service ever in my life. I just recently spoke to someone about my refund and told me they couldn't give me a date.

The site won't let you file a complaint unless you were stupid enough to give the scam artist a credit card or bank account number. I'm being harassed by an IRS impersonator. Calls 2 times a day 3 or 4 days a week and leaves the same threatening message yet no one will take the case. It's a travesty.

You don't need a credit card or bank account number to file a complaint at FTC.gov/complaint. You choose how much personal information you want to give. The details you provide go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

I am feeling like a complete idiot. I also just rec'd a threatening phone call from a "officer Jack Cooper" He told me his badge number was "007496784". He said that I had to stay on the phone with him while I went and got a "Federal Tax Paycard" He said numerous times that if I hung up that I would go jail, He also said that if I didn't calm down he would hang up and that I would have to go to court and end up paying "twenty to forty thousands of dollars". Thank goodness I am unable to drive and was force to call my sign other and he advised me to hangup. which I was still so 'got and in shock' that I didn't. But, I did record most of the message that came from the telephone number 202-684-6460. He's good. Thank goodness He did not get any info from me. Please to All be careful.

I am right there with you. I received the same call yesterday at work from 202-810-8181. I was able to use another phone and called the local police department to see if this was real and the woman there didn't want any info. All she said was the "IRS will not make cold calls demanding money" gee thanks for the help! Even after that I was still afraid to hang up the phone. I did however but stressed over it all night.

Thank you for this post. I was wondering if this "Jack Cooper" person had a very thick east Indian accent?

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