Saturday, January 16, 2016

Beware of IRS Phone Scams


(This rendering is the work product of    )

              As the economy worsens or stagnates, the criminals always adapt, often faster than the decent people.   Yesterday, I was driving on an interstate highway and a call came in on my cellular phone from a number I did not recognize. I don't answer while driving so they were out of luck.   They called again when I got to my destination. The call was a recording in which the IRS claimed that I had been "named in a lawsuit" that was filed today and that I needed to call this number immediately.   I didn't think this was very likely.  First of all, I owe the IRS nothing, as they already have all my money.  Secondly, the caller did not know my name and did not recite it in the message. Thirdly, when I file taxes, I never include a phone number, and I have never provided my cell phone to them. Fourth, if the IRS has a problem with the way my return was prepared, they would call my tax preparer, not me. However, many people might be afraid when they receive such a call.  It's a scam, I thought.

                    When I got home and was doing some chores, the same number called again, but I didn't answer fast enough for them, and they didn't leave a message.    The fourth time, I was unloading hay in the barn. This time, I answered.    It was a recording stating that "IRS Agent Bob Brown needed to speak with me at once regarding the lawsuit that was filed against me today". He repeated the number that had been calling.   Although I recognized this as a scam, I wanted more information before reporting it.   When I called the number, which was supposedly located in Texas, a man with a heavy East Indian accent answered. His accent was so heavy that I believe he was located in India and that the call is somehow routed to appear as if coming from Texas.   When I called, he wanted identifying information.  I told him that all I could provide him with is the number he had called.  He said he would need a moment to look up my file. When he returned he said, "Ah yes, Mrs. Bourne".   Then I said, "No, you have the wrong number. You are not to call this number again." and he hung up.

                   Upon researching this I found that there are an abundant number of telephone IRS scams running out there right now.    When you do deal with the IRS, insist that you do so by letter.   Don't provide them with phone numbers.  If they don't have your number, and someone from there is calling, you automatically know that the caller isn't the IRS, just as I did.

                   Although such scammers probably use a ton of different numbers, the number from which they called me yesterday was:


Here is detailed information directly from the IRS concerning scams such as these: