“aggressive telephone calls are being made by scammers posing as IRS representatives”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department is informing the public about a consumer scam where aggressive telephone calls are being made by scammers posing as IRS representatives.

These callers usually threaten arrest or prosecution if money is not immediately paid. Technology allows the scammer to “spoof” or alter the Caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from legitimate law enforcement or IRS phone numbers. Most of these scams originate from overseas using VOIP phone services such as Skype or MagicJack. These services allow a scammer from any part of the world to obtain a phone number with any area code they wish. Many times the scammers choose a 202 area code to add legitimacy to their scam, due to the Treasury Department and other Federal Agencies being headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a tax bill.
Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a Greendot pre-paid card, or wire services such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, immediately HANG UP. Under no circumstances should you engage them in conversation or provide any personal information. Also do one of the following:

If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees can help you with a payment issue.

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, please report the incident by completing the following online report: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

Also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Remember to add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

If you have further questions regarding this scam, please contact the Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit at 202-727-4159 or [email protected]

15 Comment

  • eesh yeah my parents have gotten multiple calls from these guys on their home line in moco.

  • I Dont Get It

    I owuld LOVE to get one of these calls, imagine the fun I would have!

    • Just the other day I had one but he was a little more savvy. I was like “do you need my social” and he said no no, and that it was too late to pay the state and federal taxes but he had another way to get around my imminent arrest for non-payment it was to pay the Enforcement Division to withdraw the warrant. I kept him going and licking his chops for about 15 minutes but the got bored and let him listen to Judge Judy until he hung up.

      • I Dont Get It

        Love it!

      • Thank you for this public service. The longer you keep scammers on the phone, the fewer other people they can call.
        I sometimes say that I’m going to get my husband, and put ’em on hold. I wish I knew how long they waited before hanging up.

  • My parents live out of the area and have gotten these calls as well. They were really aggressive and yelling at my dad that they were going to arrest him if he didn’t bring them $4000 in cash that day. Like anyone is going to believe that the IRS really does business that way.

  • I’ve gotten a lot of calls on my land line recently in reference to “problems with your Windows PC.” They’re also pretty persistent- I’ve pointed out that I know they’re scamming me and that I don’t own a PC or use Windows, but they still insist their “system” shows I’m at risk. Amusing for me, but I could see less technologically savvy people falling for it.

    • I got that one. I’m relatively tech savvy, and they had me going for several minutes. I had just switched to a different virus software, and thought maybe that had triggered it. I pushed back enough that he eventually hung up.
      But I don’t know what they want. Any thoughts on what the scam IS?

      • I’m pretty sure they get you to go to their web site and download some sort of malware that allows them to gain access to your computer? I read a story a while back about a computer or IT specialist who got a call like that and he managed to get enough information out of the scammer to hack their system. If only I had those skills.

        • I Dont Get It

          Oh I got a couple of those and was bored (read: drunk) and had a lot of fun. First I thanked them profusely to coming to my aid. “ I’ve had sooooooo many problems!!!!!!!!” Then as I was navigating to where they wanted me to go I would misinterpret the request and say “Okay I’m rebooting now” and the guy would yell “You don’t need to reboot.” Well rebooting a PC with issues takes FOREVER!!!!! I think he hung up on the third accidental reboot. Good times!

          • I like it. I haven’t successfully gotten them to hang up on me yet. I should try your approach instead.

  • jburka

    A friend of mine does some IT contract work at IRS and got one of these calls…and says to the caller, “Gee, the name you just gave me isn’t showing up in the global IRS address book. Is your manager around? We ought to check on that…”


  • nightborn

    My best friend got one of those calls – they told her she owed back taxes and they would deport her unless she gave a credit card number immediately (she has a green card). She called me in a panic ( I was a tax preparer for the first few years of my career) and I told her to tell these people off the next time they called. The IRS would never threaten immediate arrest or deportation or demand immediate payment / ask for credit card numbers.

  • Got one of those calls here, on voicemail: “a Treasury Department action against you for tax fraud . . . call now before you get arrested!” Quite effectively done, actually, and will no doubt scare the bejeezus out of anyone who doesn’t immediately spot this as a scam.

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