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IRS Phone Call Scam

UPDATE: July 14, 2017:
The scammers have changed their tactics on this scam and now send threatening pre-recorded calls to your voicemail.  Have a listen to this call, the 3rd such call that Doug at TDS received in just five days!  (And he's still waiting to be arrested.)

UPDATE: June 4, 2017:
Unfortunately, the criminals from India are running this scam again, even though a large group of them were arrested last October.  On Friday, June 2, Doug at TDS received THREE of these scam calls from these numbers:  772-281-0735,    206-565-0454,  662-503-1035

Here is what one of the messages sounded like:

Doug couldn't resist and called back one of the scam numbers.  Enjoy his conversation with the scammer!

More IRS scam messages from the week of June 5 from 405-285-3726 and 405-285-3739

 

UPDATE: April 25, 2017:
This scam is still going strong.  One of our readers sent us this recording he received on April 25, 2017 from the number 267-415-1640:

Lots of folks were talking about this scam on 800Notes.com today.


Great news!  On October 6, 2016, the police in India shut down a major call center responsible for many of these scams.  Visit:
http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/06/news/india-irs-scam-arrests/index.html


One of our readers sent us yet another variation of this IRS phone call scam from a "US Treasury Agent."  The recipient is asked to call 575-308-0059.  Enjoy...

UPDATE: July 27, 2016:
TDS Readers have sent us two more variations of the IRS Phone Call scam they recorded.  If you listen to them all, you'll hear just how similar they are.  They are meant to scare and intimidate you into calling the number and paying a fee.  We suggest calling them with a fog horn in your hand.  When you hear the person at the other end, blow that fog horn nice and loudly.  Then hang up.  You'll feel better, we promise!

 

 

UPDATE: June 15, 2016:
Early in June we were contacted by a woman who thought she received a call from the IRS. (Listen below.)  The recorded message told her to call 254-433-5125.  This woman is a professional and intelligent psychologist but personal events in her life led her to believe that the IRS call was legitimate.  She says "I had two very threatening and disturbing messages yesterday. The caller talked about IRS suing the me and had a warrant for arrest. Basically they called to get money to help me resolve it out of court. It was a scary and upsetting experience for me. The police say they've scammed elderly folks in my area for over $100,000. They're calling from India."  (A follow up note... On 9/7/16 the woman contacted us again to say "I received a call on my cell phone from a number 0000000000. An Indian man warning me about suspicious activity on my personal computer. I'm aware now. Just laughed."

And then a few days later WE got this same scam twice from two different phones numbers... 323-430-9649 and 765-821-0337.  Don't fall for this trash.  The IRS or U.S. Treasury would NEVER call you and pressure you to make a payment over the phone.  Hang up and report your call to police, and us!

As the psychologist puts it... "especially when you are in a state of vulnerability or trauma, your inner rational self is not as strong and observant." You are way more vulnerable and more likely to make a mistake.  If you know someone who may be vulnerable to scams such as these, especially the elderly, talk to them about these scams and urge them to contact a trusted love one before doing anything.

 

UPDATE: March 27, 2016:
The following phone call was received on someone's cell phone who then shared it with us at TheDailyScam.com  The call came from the number 202-795-1580, an "Officer Alex Watson.  A search for this phone number and Officer Watson turns up several links about this scam including these:

IRS Phone Scam from Meridian Wealth
FTC.gov website (Search for the name "Watson" on the page)

In the late November/early December of 2014 many folks reported getting a phone call scam from a recording claiming to be from the IRS.  One person captured it on audio and sent it to us. You can listen to it here:

The person reporting the scam actually went to IRS.gov, found the real contact number and called the office of the IRS advocate in Massachusetts (617-316-2690).  Apparently there is an IRS advocate in every state. The advocate spoke in a very serious tone, was very clear and gave our caller his name at the beginning of the call. The advocate asked if the "IRS caller" threatened to sue or arrest him.  Apparently, that tactic is a tell-tale sign of an IRS scam.  The IRS advocate recommended this link about these types of scams.

 

By searching for the phone number left in the voice message, we easily found lots of people complaining about this scam online.  Here are a few links...

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-253-299-4073

http://1-253-299-4073.whocallsme.org/1-253-299-4073-158633#comments

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20141125080416AAEo6v5

ABCNews.com is reporting that this fake IRS agent scam is a serious problem that has targeted more than 360,000 people around the U.S.  Read more on their website.

UPDATED March 27, 2016: This App Blocks IRS Scam Calls From Reaching You [ABCNews.com, March 24, 2016]

May 27, 2016: IRS Warns of Latest Scam Variation Involving Bogus "Federal Student Tax" on IRS.gov

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