Phone Phishing Scam

Something happened today that I think we all need to know about.  This is not a chain letter.  This is composed by my hand, today.

I received a text from my grandfather’s care taker today that stated that he received a phone call from the “IRS” stating that they were opening a lawsuit against him.  She gave me the number to check it out.  The call was from the number 317-560-2737 of Franklin, Indiana.

I called and the phone was answered “IRS, how can I help you?” Everyone knows the IRS does not answer the phone this way.  You always have to hear a recording and then have to wait forever to speak to a live person. This person had a Spanish accent (not that it matters, these are just the facts of the situation.)

I identified myself and asked about the situation at hand.  They told me that there were “many mistakes on many years tax returns” They asked me if I was calling from the number that they called I told them no, that I was calling form another number.  They asked for the number that was called.  I gave them my grandparent’s phone number.  They identified first my grandmother and then my grandfather by name.  When I pressed for more information I was hung up on.

I called again and asked why he hung up on me.  I asked to speak with his supervisor.  He said he was the supervisor,

I told him, “I don’t think so.” And he hung up on me.

I again called back and said immediately that I wanted to speak to his supervisor to which he replied “you don’t need to talk to him.”

I replied “yes, I do.”

He said “Hang on.” And the phone went dead.

Now livid, I called back again and immediately told him that I didn’t appreciate him hanging up on me multiple times and that I believe that this is a scam.  I told him I would be calling the IRS to find out more information regarding this alleged lawsuit.

I asked. “Why do you have to victimize the elderly?  I am going to report you and you will be in big trouble.”

He said “Fuck you.” And hung up the phone.

I googled the number 317-560-2737 and I learned not only that the call is a Verizon wireless number but others have received calls from this number as well.   This led me to the FTC website for complaints.  That web site is: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov  I reported this phone number to them and let them know the situation in which this call was received.

This led me to do some more research for answers  From the IRS website:

 

IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

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.

Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. 

If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Info from https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts

I spoke to my good friend who works within the IRS and she says that the IRS will never call first!  They have your address and will ALWAYS send multiple letters in an attempt to reach you prior to calling.   She also told me the IRS doesn’t call unless you call them first. Finally the IRS letters will have an 1-800 number on them to talk about the case.

This has all the signs of an IRS imposter scam. In fact, the IRS won’t call out of the blue to ask for payment, won’t demand a specific form of payment, and won’t leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away.

Phishing Voicemail (video)

From: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/irs-calling

The moral of the story is don’t get taken for a ride by a scammer.  If you receive a call from this number 317-560-2737 or any other number that seems like a scam or if you receive a phishing email report it at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov  Help   Help yourself and help others avoid fraud.

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