Someone – And Not The IRS – May Be After You For Your Money.

More than 366,000 people have reported receiving calls from the IRS scam artists who have demanded payment on threat of incarceration. More than 3000 people have succumbed with this pseudo-IRS receiving more than $15.5 million. The ruse has spread across the country. Police have traced it to a middle eastern, likely Indian locality, but say that it may take years to track down the scammers. Detection is especially difficult since the ruse has been mimeographed by other overseas countries and is hitting particularly vulnerable individuals such as seniors and immigrants. Oftentimes, however, the callers fail to discriminate. Pastors have been lured in; professors too. NFL player Frank Garcia lost more than $4,000. Even Timothy Camus, Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration, received a call. He told the scammer, “your day will come.”

IRS Logo.  Scam Artists with claiming to be IRS Agents Hitting North Shore of Chicago.

IRS Logo. Scam Artists with claiming to be IRS Agents Hitting North Shore of Chicago.

This day though seems to be taking its time. The ruse germinated in 2013 and has ballooned since. Federal authorities say it’s the largest IRS scam impersonation they’ve ever seen. One unidentified victim lost more than $500,000. Camus reports that scam calls are increasing at a rate of 10,000 to 12,000 a week. The callers sound convincing with their knowing the last four digits of your social security; showing the Manhattan 202 code; using Google Earth to tell you where to bank your money; and repeating your financial history down to the cent.

How, then, can you differentiate IRS employees from a scammer?
Says IRS media spokeswoman Patricia Svarnas:

1. The IRS would never threaten you. This guy threatens you with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license. Many victims have reported hanging up the phone and weeping.

2. The IRS would never ask for a debit or PIN or immediate payment. This guy does. You have to pay him right away… or else.

3. The IRS operate all year around, this guy has chosen tax season to make his calls.
What do you do if he calls you? Advises Camus: hang up. Call 800-829-1040, or visit irs.gov and double-check the antecedents of your caller.

Rather than the IRS, it is far more than likely that he, or she, is the Big Bad Wolf after you for your money.

Note: Victims are advised to report scam calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or at tigta.gov.

Article by:  Leah Zitter, www.dbfchicago.com Writer