Nope, That Is Not The IRS Calling
Phone ringing? Caller ID show Washington DC? Does the man on the other end claim to be an IRS agent, who’s sternly giving you one last chance to pay up RIGHT NOW or head to the big house?
Oh, and does he have a strong Indian accent?
That’s not the IRS calling. You’re being targeted by what the Department of Justice calls an “Indian Call Center Scam.”
These con artists contact Americans by text, email or phone pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service. They then try to frighten their victims into coughing up a quick payment.
Here’s how it worked in my case: I was on the website last Wednesday morning when my cell phone rang, showing a 202 area code.
On the other end was a heavily accented man claiming to be from the IRS and telling me that fraud had been discovered during an audit.
I was in deep trouble.
The only way to avoid arrest was to immediately make arrangements to pay what I “owed.”
Yeah, right. The IRS has a satellite office in Calcutta now, I thought.
I hung up, blocked the number and forgot about it for a couple of days.
Then it occurred to me that I ought to report these foreign fiends. I didn’t fall for their phony scheme, but others might.
When I visited the IRS website Monday I learned that these India-based gangs have been operating for years and are becoming fairly sophisticated. The syndicates are based in India, but the calls appear to be coming from Washington or other locations inside the U.S., making it easy for the callers to impersonate government officials.
If only they could lose their accents, that is.
The IRS - which says it always tries to reach taxpayers first by mail when there's a problem - claims that so far these Indian crooks have extorted millions of dollars from unsuspecting people.
Back in 2016, during a joint American-Indian law enforcement raid, a number of these creeps were arrested.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get them all.