By: Sharon Aron Baron

I received a phone call today from someone telling me that an arrest warrant was underway if I didn’t pay my taxes from 2011.  I picked up my cellphone and camera and recorded the call as I could tell I was going to have fun with this.

Although it is not legal to record phone conversations without the other party’s consent, I knew this was a scam and the perpetrators would never likely file charges.

In the call, the foreign-sounding person tells me (by name) that I owe over $4,000 in taxes.   An arrest warrant is underway and I’ll go to jail for six months.  I know I didn’t owe money, and this was also verified later by my accountant, Elliot Kessler C.P.A. who told me that I was the fourth person to call him today about this scam.

The woman hands the call over to a supervisor who will work it out with me if I am interested in resolving this issue. He gets on the line, asks if I have the money available, and gives me instructions on how to purchase an IRS Voucher at Winn Dixie. He wants me to use my cell phone so he can give me step-by-step instructions. This is probably to keep me engaged so I wouldn’t verify this was a scam with anyone. I insisted I didn’t have a cellphone because there was no way I wanted these people to badger me after today.

On September 4, the IRS issued a strong warning for consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile – apparently to scare their potential victims.

Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other things the IRS wants you to be aware of:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

I have reported this scam to the IRS and I hope you will too if you receive a call like this.

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

3 Responses to "IRS Phone Scam Caught on Video"

  1. jim  

    very interesting vid..thx..cant believe anyone would fall for that..your conversation with the supervisor was great..don’t think think he was performing any brain surgery when he got off his shift at the irs…

    Reply
  2. Valrie Wright E A  

    The IRS never calls anyone about their tax liability unless YOU first requested a call back. They use FORM 9465 to set up installment agreements and they never pressure anyone to make payments. If you do owe IRS and you do not keep up with your agreement you will receive certified letters giving you time to respond along withe Form 403A or Form 403B. I could give you more of their procedures but bear in mind IRS NEVER CALLS RE YOUR TAX LIABILITY AND PRESSURE YOU ON THE TELEPHONE.

    Reply
  3. Bud Fein  

    Sharon, this had to be the funniest call I have listened to. In a long long time. Although the performance won’t win an academy award for dramatic acting, it certainly can go viral and you can go on FOX News with it. where it will entertain the educated viewers while certainly educating the non English speaking public who might be scammed had it not been for this humorous video. Rest assured I will play it to others for both the humor component as well as the educational component for the unsuspecting immigrants and the brain dead home grown unsuspecting citizens who make up the list of potential targets of these scammers… Still laughing over this one. As always , thanks for sharing…….

    Dr Bud Fein.

    Reply

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