Who’s Calling? Not the Government.

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How many of us pick up the phone, expecting to hear, “Hey, you owe me money. Now pay up – or else”? But that’s what’s been happening recently to people in the immigrant community. Those aren’t the exact words, and the caller claims to be from the government – but that’s the message people are getting: Send money. Or else.

Our friends at the Esperanza Center, part of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, spotted the scam. Several of their clients got texts and calls from someone claiming to be from a government agency – sometimes specifically from Immigration Service. (Which sounds like the real agency, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, but isn’t.)

People heard different reasons why they might owe money to the government. Maybe they were supposed to pay for part of a “government-funded scholarship.” Or maybe they’re just told they owe money, plain and simple. But the caller always asked for money. Naturally, they asked for money to be wired or put on a rechargeable credit card. Both are the same as sending cash, with basically no chance of getting the money back.

Here are a few things to remember. The government will never text or call you asking for money. Even if you get a call that seems real, check it out. Look up the real number for the government agency and call to see what the story is. And be suspicious if anyone – no matter who they say they are – asks you to wire money, or load a rechargeable credit card. There’s no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to send money that way.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

February 17th, 2014
First call was to warn I had 48 hours to call to resolve an unknown issue (caller ID phone number (888) 278-8565). They gave me a case #...
I did not get the message until the next caller (574)-968-8334 from South Bend In.
called to let me know they were from summons and processing.

Summons and processing for whom I was thinking...
I was told there were charges pending against me for fraud under my name and social. To call back with case number...

When I called to find out more info I asked them to identify themselves they hung up on me.
I called back, someone else answered and would not identify themselves until I gave them a case number. I let them know the case number was UN-important until they identified themselves. He had told me that this may not pertain to me and that was the reason for the lack of cooperation on his part.

Nice try! get a life!!

I told them I would turn their number in to the authorities and hung up.
There were many hints that they were not ligit... Music in the background, the UN-professional way they answered the phone. It sounded like I was calling a cell phone. There was no message box when no on answered.

Besides all that if it were ligit, I should have received certified mail in this regard. Since I know I had done nothing wrong I also had nothing to fear. Courts will not call you for reasons such as these.

When you get a call that you suspect is from a scammer, the best thing to do is stop talking to them. Hang up the phone! Here are some tips on how to handle unwanted calls.

Thank, nice tips...

Anybody receive an automated call. I received one 30 min ago. Said his name was Mike from the IRS. We r under investigation for fraud. Gave a toll free number to call or press one to sleak with someone. So i pressed one and I didnt write the phone number down. When it went to transfer me, it just beeped out like a fax line. So I called the IRS and he said that IRS never calls anyone for any reason. They will send notice through the mail. And especially not an automated system either. He said if they call back to write the number down and call him back and report the number. He said there isnt any fraud on my part. I couldnt believe it. What jerks are out there these days. So beware of automated calls too, not just real live peole calling scams now ....#smh

My father received a called from a 415 area code number from a person speaking very broken English claiming to be from the IRS Bureau of Investigation. My father does not speak much English, so he asked to do a 3-way call in order for me to speak on his behalf. The person on the other side of the line did not wanted to talk to me even when my father was listening. So he game me this number 415-251-3851 for Keneth Webster and when I called and said I wanted to know what was going on, the person hanged up the phone.
I went online, to try to contact the IRS directly and found all these blogs, so I advise my father to say that he contacted the FBI the next time this scams call him.
Be Aware!!!

Got a call from a "Charles Green" from the "Federal Govt Office" claiming there are 3 allegations against me for a certain tax year. He had a heavy Indian accent and told me he was issuing a warrant for my arrest & sending police to arrest me since I wasn't co-operative. # came up as coming from District of Columbia. Please be wary of these calls and do not give any personal info over the phone.

Booty's Jamaican bunch is brothering my brother. He just don't want to beleive the are Scam. But they are I wish I could find them and then be able to show them living in Vegas

Received call today that is exactly like BCarter received about Government grant in an amount of $7500.00. Gave me call back number of 202-436-9770 and also a 5 digit to verify. I asked for someone who spoke better English...he hung up. Knew it was a scam.

My Father just received a phone call from someone with the caller ID indicating it was from the District of Columbia. He (the person calling), verified my Father's address and said there was a warrant for his arrest and police officers would be at his address in 30 minutes. Heavy accent. My Father told the caller to make sure he is with them because he has a size 12 that he wanted to put up his arse when they arrived. No one ever showed up!

First, I now realize why some scammers take the chance on operating the way they do. I found it very difficult to find answers here on the IRS site to report the fraudulent call we received.
So I am only left with leaving a blog message hoping an IRS official will read this.
Checking our answering machine we found a msg stating, in a robotic Hindu voice, that we were being sued, IRS style.
The number 209-320-1607 was left for us to call back, which of course we did not. Instead looked it up on the net and found others with similar complaint connected to the same number.
We surely hope folks are smarter these days and don't fall for this garbage and return the call.
And to the IRS, it looks like this number has been in service for awhile now. We hope you are doing something about it.
That's all I've got to day about that.

I received 5 calls today on my machine that were very threatening, I called back it was an Ohio number 567_251-0045, Indian guy claiming he is with the IRS fraud department and my husband under plaid taxes from 2008-2013, said he had an affidavit, we asked him to read it, he said to sum it up we were in alot of trouble, we can either make a payment or go to trial, my husband picked trial, the guy got so mad and said there are warrants out for both of our arrests and the FBI and sheriffs department were coming to our home at 6pm to arrest us it really scared me at first!!! I am so embarrassed that I got that upset and thought it was a real phone call at first! I have never been in any trouble in my life, in the end it was a scam, I just called the number back and surpise it's disconnected! I feel bad for the people they doop,I was truly badly shaken.

Getting calls from 202-280-7316 Pretending to be IRS.
Left threatening message 'Call back Or ELSE good luck'. Getting a few of those these days.

Logging this Number 2022807316 so that if some one searches, knows it is fraudulent.

We got the same exact response!

We also received a call from 202-280-7316 pro porting to be IRS. Trying to find out how to keep them from calling us back.

The same here in Birmingham, AL. I received today two calls from 202-280-7316 claiming to be the IRS. The first one, an Indian dude with an accent I can barely understand. Then, a second call also from another Indian dude (but with a better English). When I asked him why people from India is calling me about my taxes he hung up.

I got a call From David Jones 202-280-7316 IRS agent BagID 25786 indicating I have a problem with IRS and a ....
They are targeting people with a foreign last name to shake up. I just want to find who is running this ring and give them a peace of my mind and the end of my BOOT

I don't condone scams, but it isn't like illegal immigrants pay their dues. They don't pay taxes or insurance, or anything of the like. Hopefully it will drive them back to their own country.

illegal immigrants DO pay taxes. they CAN'T get insurance so they pay out of pocket. educate yourself.

SCAM, pretending to be an IRS. Poor accent, threaten to call Immigration and IRS only because my name sounded non American I guess...I had to disappoint them today. After leaving few messages finally, I got them, it was fun listening his threats which increased as I started to laugh. Just don't give them any info and if you feel so or have time doing so, play with them back...call from 202-280-7316

Have received two harassing calls from 202-280-7316 that I need to call them immediately to avoid trouble. Please check these people. Thank you!

We just got a call Eric William to call us back at 2022807316. Similar threatening message

Got a call from "Officer Sean Wilson" from the "IRS". Definitely Indian, claiming that I owe money to the IRS. It was the same scam and the same number as others have been getting calls from: 202-280-7316.

I received two harassing messages from these guys 202-280-7316.

I'm getting harassing calls from an unknown number all throughout the day, every single day! They are either Indian or Asian and when I ask them to stop calling, he says "no maam, I will not stop calling" and the asian guy continuously kept calling me sexy. He even called me back and left me a message saying "he sexy I want talk to you, call me back". This is getting out of control and I have no phone number to report because it's completely unknown. I told the last guy off and told him to get a real job and quit wasting peoples time but he said "NO". If anyone knows how I can stop this, please let me know!

Hi, JRod,

I'm sorry you've had this experience. The best thing you can do is to ignore the call, or hang up as soon as you realize it's an unwanted call. And then report it at www.donotcall.gov.

Yea I got a call just now from this Indian guy claiming to work for some government grant company, said something about purchasing a Green Dot Voucher, to put $199 on it and to go to a Western Union establishment. Said I was one of 1700 people to be recieving a grant worth $12,300. Told me to call him back at 786-600-1263, extension 1030 to contact a Max Stephens. Feels like a stupid scam to me.

Thanks for sharing your experience and for filing a complaint with the FTC. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters

Thanks Rosario!
This is helpful information!

Thank you for sharing everyone!
I got an email yesterday from the Bureau of CriME Investigation (BCI - not a real thing since the real bureau is Bureau of CriminAL Investigation) and they said I was being charged with a law suit for not paying my debt. After I had half a heart attack, I noticed the grammar in the email was wrong, the fonts were slightly different between paragraphs, and there was too much threatening yet unprofessional language "If this ends up costing your job, the responsibility for the same lies on your shoulder.". I finally Googled it and found out its a scam!!!
This morning I received a call from No Caller ID (how can Verizon allow this?! They won't share the number in billing due to 'privacy'?!? - Its a perfect tool for scammers to use!!) and the guy on the other line had broken English and told me the government is sending me a grant for $7000 for something to do with the Democracy Act and for having no criminal records. He had my full name and home address - after which I said I have his number and will be sending it to the FBI for investigation and his response was "f**k you for wasting my time you a**hole" and a string of similar phrases. I'm pretty sure that might be slightly different language to what the US government would use to address such an issue. I feel pretty harassed right now and registered my number in the DO Not Call government registry. I will be reporting the email and digging into this phone number too. Hopefully these losers will see the walls of a prison soon enough.

Here is a site to report email scams.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

And here is the site to have your numbers removed by telemarketers etc:
https://www.donotcall.gov/

Good luck everyone!
Hopefully together we can make this a safer, more honest society!

I have received two calls so far from a person named Joe MCcoy. First when I answered he asked if my name was "?" I didnt answer, I asked him what is this about. He said is from a preliminary lawsuit filed against me. but then he stop, and asked are you "?" mentioning name, I said no. Then he said, is this a wrong number, I said yes. He then hang up. But then later he called, with unkown number left on my caller Id, he left a voice mail and left his name and some filing lawsuit number, but he didnt leave his phonenumber. Also other family members have received same call from this man, asking them for information about me. I wonder how he got a hold of their numbers, and is asking about me. I do not understand what is a preliminary action law suit. Anyway I recently lost my job and broke. I have no idea who would want to sue me, and why call and not leave number. I thought a proffessional would leave at least a phone number and submit legal papers? I do not understand this, could be fraud.

How do i fix my phone apps

Got a call today from Ben Michelson stating I was to be given $8000 in FREE money from the government. Stating he worked in Washington D.C. even though it was a New York phone number. He didn't have any pertinant information, but did have my full name, address, phone number, email address & age. When I tried to rush to get off the phone, he was persistant I answer additional questions. What I would use the $$ for, and my correct age. He asked me to call him back a seperate dept at 360-780-3796. He also provided a bunch of 'authorization numbers/codes' BEWARE!!!

When I get these calls, ( which I have a whole lot lately ) I start speaking spainish, OR I tell them I ain't here but I can be reached at this "other"number and I then give them the "BBB" or the local police dept and the Sheriff's office.... It has cut the calls in more than half!!

spainish, lol :D

I recieved a phone call from an "unavailable" number, when I answered it I got the schpeel about US Grant Department and recieving $8000 because I was in good standing with the government and had no criminal record. When I told him to mail me the information so that I could review it and verify a few things, he became very agitated and started becoming agressive with me on the phone. When I told him that if he was unwilling to send me the information I now believe this is nothing but a scam and he is a criminal and I hung up the phone. He called me back, I didn't answer, he left a message on my phone calling me vile names, swearing at me, threatening to send the FBI to my home to "kick my a*$", threatening to come to my home for the same purpose, have me thrown in jail. When I didn't call back, they called again the following day, refused to let me speak to their supervisor and became hostile again. I did let them know that I had turned this all over to the County Attorney's Office.

They might be verifying your particulars before they raid your accounts because of some other companies (such as Target’s security breach) compromise.
Additional Info: land Line using Magicjack to link via computer calls.
Phone number: 360-780-3796 is located in Forks, Washington.
Its exchange 780 is managed by LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, LLC -.
The number is currently on switch number STTNWAHODS9 (switch is a technical specification for phone hobbyists) , allocated to CENTURYTEL OF WASHINGTON, INC. DBA CENTURYLINK
One person reported: I was ripped off promising releasing $8000 Federal Grant money. They took already $1310 and asking @1657.80 for "tax".

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

the main problem is that greedy people's problem comes up as soon as they receive such call.... they called me for FTC GRANT MONEY.. well, i know their ways,,2063314506 is John Berry's number WASHINTON D.C I didn't send rather called the organisation which they used,healthcare and human services Washinton D.C PEOPLE SHOULD BE CAREFUL THIS TIME AROUND...

The FTC doesn't give grants. So if you receive a call saying there's an FTC grant for you, you know that's a scam.

They've been blowing up my phone since eight am. The number is listed as Unknown through my caller ID but they claim to be US Gov. Last I checked the Gov doesn't block me from seeing their number and its posted on US government sites. The wierd thing was when I answered i was spoken to by a woman and then all I heard were high frequency chirping until I hung up.

Just received a call from an "unknown call". A female robotic voice said this was an important message from the IRS... Something about unresolved taxes. An agent would be coming to my home in the next 24 hours to put a lien on my assets. Please call XXX-XXX-8128 (those are the only numbers I remember - I didn't have pen and paper ready). Then, or press "one" to speak to someone immediately. So I pressed one and a normal American male voice said just one moment while we switch you to a "pollster" to gather more information. (What????) Then a third voice said "goodbye" and disconnected.

I'd like to believe the IRS doesn't do business this way and wouldn't use an unknown caller ID, but I don't know what that was about!?!

The IRS communicates via letters. They would not call and leave a message, much less use a robocall. This was probably a scam call. You can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or online. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.

Some one called my home in Wisconsin and left a message that they were from the I.R.S. and they are fileing a law suete agest me and to call 202-559-7564. The begining and end of message were cut short.

Someone called me possing as the I.R.S., and said they were filling a law suet against me and to call 202-559-7564...is managed by LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, LLC And indicates the capital in D.C.??

i revived a text today from a 54104 number claiming i have a tax refun of nearly 400 dollars when i text back i never recived anything back what should i do

Have anyone had problems from a foreign man from a 913-937-6608 from Paola Kansas? I looked the number up and it was for a man name tom ford.

i have received 3 calls from the same number 301-476-0602. telling me i have been selected for a grant that i never have to pay back . the forst caller said my grant would be 21,000 dollars the second caller said the grant would be 15,000 dollars and the third said the grant would be 9,000 obvious scam

Omg, I'm from Jamaica and I wasn't aware of tbiw, I know they'll call and tell that you've won money and you should send a deposit, they've on a roll with this one but luckily the police has been catching up on these crooks.
This is new though and I'm guessing alot of persons are unaware, I'm going to share this on Facebook it'll get to the right persons in time. I do apologize for these waste of breath but of course theyre everywhere. Be very vigilant though and pls, if someone calls you saying you won stuff, please please make a few cals and check it because they've become quite the professionals.
I again I do apologize to everyone who has been victimized on behalf of us true hardworking Jamaicans.

Hindu lady called me stated I've been selected to receive a government grant of 8,500. Do to a survey taken in my area. I was one of the lucky ones chosen because I have not filled for backrupsy and have a clean record. They already had all my information. How I have no idea? I asked them for a website where I can look them up they couldn't give me an exact website all I got was ARRA (Anerican Recovery and Reinvesment). She than asked how I would like to receive my money via checking account, prepaid debit card or cash through western union. Knowing it was a scam I said cash western union she than asked for 250$ Account "activation fee" to wire my money over and i would be reimbursed a total of 8,750$. Yea Right! Her name was Linda Walker. (202)580-8278 ext:546

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