How The Scam Artists Operate
There was recently and arrest in India by Federal Authorities working with the Indian government. The group had bilked Americans out of millions of dollars in a ruthless scheme that played on their fears of the IRS. They played on the fact that normal citizens can become victim to a scheme that will take them for all or a good portion of their savings. This is in age of the internet and numerous Federal, State and Local protection agencies. This group of con artists worked outside the law pretending to be some agents of the United States government. They were able to get information from records made public by the IRS itself and it was amazingly effective. Despite having made these arrest half ways around the world, the scam still is being perpetrated on a regular basis, and it’s extremely successful as we speak. A major part of the problem is that the people that get taken by these scams are somewhat defenseless, the elderly, women, immigrants and the disabled, yes the disabled.
How It is Being Pulled Off
The Con Artist would pull information from tax records made public by the IRS. They would then get the contact information of the potential victims, probably from online sites that will sell this information. They will then contact the unsuspecting tax debtor and then impersonate IRS agents, often claiming to be the IRS. They would verify the identity of the victim and then then validate the date by accusing the victim of breaking the law by not paying their tax debts. They were so unafraid of the consequences of their actions that they would confirm when asked that they were the IRS. They would us masked phone numbers so that no one could really identify their identity by the phone number. They would then threaten to take immediate action against the tax debtor if they didn’t take care of their debt. virtually on the spot. They would threaten to come and arrest the victim for tax evasion. They would threaten to come and seize property or to have the person arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization agency if they were an immigrant. No one wants to have to go through a situation where they are taken from their homes by the police or federal officers. They would tell the victims that if they didn’t pay this debt today they would be taken into custody by an officer representing the IRS. The immigrants are threatened with deportation if they don’t take care do this debt. They are told that the government is cracking down on people who don’t pay their taxes and that they are in imminent danger of being carted off to jail. Now this creates an enormous amount to fear in some people and the con artist are very aware of this, as a matter of fact, that’s their goal. They want the victim in so much fear that they react without thinking this through or contacting others for help. They know that if the victim reaches out that their chances of getting their hard earned money lessens dramatically, so they tell them to pay by debit or credit card right there over the phone, often to the tune of thousands of dollars. The victims pay and off the scammers go with their money. Using foreign banks as a way of running their payments, it makes it extremely hard to recoup the funds, leaving the victim often broke and with nothing for their money.
How to Protect Yourself
I received a call one morning from a person in Hawaii whom I had contacted regarding our tax resolution service previously. She was extremely nervous and distraught. She said that she had been instructed to pay this person claiming to be with the IRS $2,500, which is all that she had in her checking account over the phone or they were going to come to her house and arrest her for tax evasion. I explained that this was a scam and asked her to give me the number that they were calling from which she got from her phone. I then contacted the phone number, asked if they were with the IRS and they said yes. I asked for their badge number and the scammers shouted some profanities at me and then hung up.
The method of contacting the victims is by phone, understand that the IRS will not contact you by phone unless you’re speaking with a Revenue Officer and they will send you a written communication regarding this before they contact you. So if you get a call on your home or cell phone with someone claiming to be the IRS understand that this is likely a scam and that you have ways of defending yourself, even if it were the IRS. Ask questions, repeat to the person on the other end of the line, is this the IRS, often they will tell you yes. Ask them for their IRS identification number and which office are they working out of. They will try and pressure you into paying, but don’t give them any information. Whatever you do don’t give them any money or make any other arrangements to pay without checking with the IRS or some other tax professional. Tell them that you want to verify this information with the local IRS office and that you would like to call them back once you’ve done that. The scammers will then believe that you have done your homework and they will move on to their next target. The IRS said that this scam took over $5 million dollars from unsuspecting U. S. citizens. I speak with people all the time who get calls from someone claiming to be the IRS, I get the number they call from and 99% of the time it’s a scam. So, don’t fall prey to this and keep your money. Now if you do have a legitimate IRS problem contact a professional and get the help that you need.