Just Another Thing to Watch Out For
By John Catoni
“Hello, this is Jim Smith calling from the Internal Revenue Service please contact us immediately about your outstanding tax debt or you will be arrested and a law suit will be filed against you” This type of phone call could send people into cardiac arrest and straight into panic mode and lead them to frantically call the number back to do whatever is necessary to avoid trouble with the IRS. News flash! The IRS does not call people and demand payment over the phone. This absolutely insane scam is occurring on an unbelievable frequent basis. The perpetrators are calling random numbers and in particular calling people that have had a Federal Tax Lien in their history. Liens are public knowledge and the scam artists figure if you have had a tax issue in the past you are easy prey. These callers try to be as intimidating as possible and use fear to get reasonable people to do things they would normally never do. Let’s face it, most of us would rather have ten wisdom teeth pulled without Novocain or get stabbed in the eye with a soldering iron than have to deal with the IRS. We are all like little kids that will do anything to avoid getting in trouble with their parents. Unfortunately what this leads to is the victims of these phone calls using their credit card, prepaid debit cards and ( I am not making this up) I Tune gift cards to give these criminals funds. Some of these impersonators are so elaborate they have it rigged to the caller ID shows up as the IRS or US Government.
I know this is another pain in the you know what, sad, pathetic thing these scam artists have given us to worry about. But unfortunately this is the world we live in. Makes you almost long for days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Bonnie & Clyde. At least they had the guts to commit their robberies in person. Please if you receive one of these phone calls, do not panic. Do not engage them or give them any information. You can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to report it or use this link from the Treasury Inspector Generals Office https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.
Makes my head spin, the things we have to worry about these days.