Have you received a recorded call in which the caller says they are calling on behalf of “Internal Revenue Services?” I have received such calls several times recently. I didn’t answer the calls, but I let my answering machine record them, then listened to them. The call was essentially the same each time.
Even though I knew immediately upon listening to the first call that it was a hoax, it still disturbed me. First, the voice and the quality of the recording were extraordinarily creepy. Second, partly because I knew immediately that it was a scam, I was appalled by the brazenness of the fraud these callers are attempting to perpetrate.
I’ll explain. I can’t recite the script of the call, but I don’t think they ever actually say that you owe the IRS money. The caller starts off by saying that a lawsuit has been filed against you and that law enforcement personnel are on the way to your home, right now, to arrest you. You are then told that you must return the call immediately. The caller doesn’t say what will happen when you return the call, but I can tell you with absolute certainty: you will be asked to give your social security number, credit card number, bank account information, and whatever other valuable information the scammers can get out of you, so that they can steal your identity, steal from your credit card, steal from your bank account, and steal from you in any other way possible.
Stop and think about this scenario for a second and I’m sure you will appreciate how brazen these thieves are. First, don’t you think they’d be able to get the name of the agency right? When did anyone refer to the IRS as “Internal Revenue Services?” I distinctly remember that they said “services,” plural. That’s a detail that’s not going to get past me.
Second, if you owed the IRS money, they wouldn’t be calling you on the phone to tell you they filed a lawsuit against you. You would get written notice of the debt long before any legal action was taken. Then, if they did file a lawsuit against you, they would send a process server to your door, and they wouldn’t call you to tell you the process server is coming.
Even if you were being charged with a crime relating to taxes you owe, you wouldn’t be getting a recorded phone call about it. The United States Attorney would get an indictment and send the marshal to arrest you, and I don’t think they would call to tell you the marshal is on the way. You would probably know that you were under investigation, however, long before the marshal came knocking to arrest you.
Now maybe if you knew that you actually were under investigation, this call might sound real enough to scare you. More likely, however, these thieves are hoping that the person receiving the call will be too uninformed or unaware to recognize it as a hoax, such as recent immigrants, the elderly, and others who are particularly vulnerable. That’s what makes it so disgusting.
For my earlier post on a similar phone call scam, go to this link.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.