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NJKen

IRS scam

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So a friend of mine fell victim to a scam today.....

  Someone supposedly from the IRS called him and told him he owed $8000 from 2007.  They called him repeatedly telling him they where going to come and get him if he did not immediately wire them the money.  He told them he did not have 8k sitting in the bank so they let him send 6k immediately to settle the debt.  I thought this guy was smarter than that.  I was wrong.  I made him go file a report with the police even though I know there is nothing they can do.  The police told us both that this is becoming a big problem lately.  Since I have not heard anything about it until today I figured I would share here.  I know that almost everyone on this board is smarter than that but I just wanted to put it out here.  Warn anyone you know that you think may fall for this kind of crap that it is going on like the elderly or people from other countries (as in this case). Scammers are using the fear of the government as a tactic now.  Its a shame

Ken

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I get the easy IRS references, funny....really, but when will people learn that you shouldn't just and over money cause someone asked for it over the phone.

 

OP I don't mean any disrespect to your friend but jesus, do a little research before handing over 6k.

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Even the real IRS is a scam!!

I could not agree more!

 

To all..

It was really hard for me not to scream at him when he told me what he did.  I learned the meaning of bit your tongue for sure.  I try not to freak out at friends but this pushed it hard!  I am still somewhat in shock that he fell for this.  Thats why I figuered I would put it out here.  The people on the phone must have been mighty convincing.  This guy would ask everyone he knows opinion before doing anything financially.  Even his family was caught off guard by this and now Im playing grief counselor.  His family was not quite as nice as I was.

Ken

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The reason this scam works is the IRS is very effective at making everyone scared to death of them for reasons of Government action (only possibly legal). Once the fear is established, the bad guys have a useful tool for their own uses.  The problem here is that we let the Government have that power...

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Sorry for your friend.

 

Here is a description of this scam and instructions where to report it.

 

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

 

IR-2013-84, Oct. 31, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

 

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail

 

Other characteristics of this scam include:

 

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.

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

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.

 

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

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Sorry for your friend.

 

Here is a description of this scam and instructions where to report it.

 

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

 

IR-2013-84, Oct. 31, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

 

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail

Other characteristics of this scam include:

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.

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

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.

 

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

From what he tells me that is exactly how it went down.  He should have known better though.  He emigrated here legally 20 years ago!  He is going to contact the IRS tomorrow. 

Ken

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Scammers-scammers, some of them are so funny... I get calls from "Microsoft Technical Support Department" almost every week or even more frequently. First I just hung up, now I am trolling callers for 10 minutes or more while doing usual stuff to waste as much of their time as possible, LOL. The only thing I was wondering if anyone really falls into this (I mean, this Microsoft scam) as all guys and gals calling me had SOOOO heavy middle-Eastern accent and it was so obvious that they were reading this from paper, that it just screamed "SCAM SCAM SCAM" :-))

 

BTW, scammers are actually quite creative. Here people are afraid of IRS so they impersonate IRS. In Russia many people are afraid of road police / traffic enforcement and LEOs in general, so scammers call and tell that "your wife / son / daughter just got in a very serious accident, another party is in a critical condition and it is most likely your loved one is at fault... unless you pay us $$$$ immediately, we will start proceedings and put your relative in jail for a long time". But I have always been really impressed by how many people really pay. According to one of newspapers one lady was really hard to beat - someone called her and told that her son had been in an accident etc... She transferred several thousand $$ to the caller and only after that she remembered, that she has a DAUGHTER, not a SON, LOL :-)))

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1. Don't trust your caller ID. People can set it up to say Police, Fed. Agent, IRS ect.

 

2. No law enforcement agency will ask for money over the phone.

 

3. And they will not demand you get a pre-paid credit card from walmart and give them the number.

 

4. Phone numbers should match. No NJ PD is going to give you a callback number in NY or India.

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I got into the wrong line of work, apparently.  I'm already an asshole on the phone, and I sure don't get no $6000 for a few hours of calling people :(

 

I've never gotten one of these calls, but I'm fairly certain I'd just keep laughing at them.  I'd happily keep them on the line for as long as possible, wasting their time while they think they can get something out of me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a slightly related note, one of my favorite trolling the scammers stories is the "Anus Laptop" saga.  (It's a lot funnier than the name might suggest - the Nigerians spelled "Asus" wrong.)

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It's simple. Tell them to send you a bill in the mail and you'll pay it.  You'll never get that letter, or another call.  Oh, BTW don't give them your mailing address, just tell them, "You got my phone number, surely you have my address."

 

There are services that will look up and report an address given a phone number. The only way (reasonably) to block them is to have a "non "published" number (not just "unlisted").   Unlisted just means it's not in the directory. Non published means it isn't given out at all (by the phone company, anyway). But it might still be on your credit report (if you had to give it to someone who put info. there).

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