Oceanside CA– Your telephone rings. You answer it. “Hello,” the caller begins. “This is agent John Adams from the Internal Revenue Service.” If that did not stop your heart, the next line does. “An audit of your account shows you owe the federal government back taxes in the amount of several thousand dollars.” This is a particularly pernicious and malicious phone scam, the IRS Spoofing scam, going on throughout the country. It has recently come to Oceanside as well.
This is a phone scam. It is called “spoofing”. It is an attempt by the caller, who is falsely identifying herself/himself as an IRS agent. The object is to frighten and intimidate the receiver into giving away valuable identifying information and paying a fictitious bill. The caller usually is very hostile and demanding.
Some targets for these fraudulent calls are undocumented workers and senior citizens. The threats used by the caller include deportation, arrest, shutting off your utilities or having your driver’s license revoked. Additionally the caller threatens you with a demand for immediate payment of the debt as well as interest and penalties on the amount owed. In one incident the caller threatened to place a lien on the victim’s property.
A visit to the web site for the Internal Revenue Service revealed the following:
- The IRS does not initiate claims of this sort by telephone.
- The IRS does not ask for credit card, debit card, or pre-paid card info over the phone.
- If the caller is asking you to get pre-paid cards to pay the debt, you can be assured it is a “spoof”.
It is not uncommon for the caller to threaten and even call back or have a partner call you back. Please be mindful, your caller ID is not always accurate, as some suspects are able to “spoof” a phone number.
Please use care when dealing with anyone over the telephone, especially as it relates to your own personal information.
If you are contacted in this way, you can call the IRS at 1(800)829-1040. The IRS employee can answer your questions.
If you know the call is a fake, you can call 1(800)366-4484 to complain.
You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant at the web site; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams”.
Please report abuse of this sort. You work hard for your money. Don’t give it away to an imposter.