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#1 2018-06-22 08:39:57

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,336

Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

I received a phone call yesterday from someone claiming to be from the IRS.  He threatened to have me arrested for tax evasion and fraud.  He knew which systems the IRS used for electronic payments, which sections of US Code to cite as relevant to tax evasion and fraud, and even had someone else call me claiming to be a HPD Officer from a phone number that matches HPD's dispatch number.  He wanted me to go to my bank, get cash out of my bank account, and purchase Google Play cards to pay the IRS.  I told him that he was trying to extort money from me and hung up.

I called the IRS and the man I spoke with said my account with them was in good standing for all years and that nothing was owed to them.  I then called the Harris County Sheriff's Office to file a report with them.  I told the officer who came to see me that if I was under arrest for anything, I'd save him the trouble.  The officer who responded checked to see if any warrants were issued for my arrest and found nothing.

The officer who responded said he received a similar call and also said he'd save the people who called him the trouble and arrest himself since he's a Police Officer, at which time they promptly hung up.  He said he had a family member who really did fail to pay the IRS what was owed and the IRS simply seized his assets and bank account.

The real IRS will just take money from your bank account if you owe them money.  If they don't have access to your bank account, they'll seize your vehicles, house, or other assets.  Furthermore, the real IRS doesn't care how you pay them, they just want the money.

If you receive a phone call like this, either hang up (what I did) or pretend to play along (what I should've done) so you can walk into a Police Station and have the phone call traced in order to arrest the people committing this fraud.

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#2 2018-06-22 08:55:53

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,898
Website

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

Congratulations, we've been getting these in Canada for a couple years. They're slowly getting more believable. I've gotten a few voice mails like that this year. They leave a phone# to call. Never call that number, instead look up the real number for CRA, or in your country IRS. The RCMP (Canada's federal police) has a warning on the home page of their antifraud division. It's so common they don't even want to take your report. If the phone# redirects out of country, such as Nigeria, there's nothing they can do.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2018-06-22 17:49:05)

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#3 2018-06-22 10:05:07

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,022

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

That one was done to a relative who is not entirely fit mentally.

Thankfully I was able to warn that relative not to be concerned and not to give out information.

......

I also had a scam from "Windows Support".

They left a message saying that they had detected activity trying to hack my computer, and blah blah blah.

When I called the number they indicated that I should hold and a representative would help me soon.  That I should turn on my computer now.

Of course what they want you to do is let them into your computer, and then they install spyware, and search for identity information.

These scams apparently actually set up fake offices even.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#4 2018-06-22 12:55:50

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,650

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

This is a well know scam, adapted for different countries. There are lots of You Tube videos where you can see people scamming the scammers back (sending them apoplectic with rage) - some of them are hilarious. In some cases the anti-scammers manage to access the scammer's computer or even switch on their computer camera! smile All good fun.

kbd512 wrote:

I received a phone call yesterday from someone claiming to be from the IRS.  He threatened to have me arrested for tax evasion and fraud.  He knew which systems the IRS used for electronic payments, which sections of US Code to cite as relevant to tax evasion and fraud, and even had someone else call me claiming to be a HPD Officer from a phone number that matches HPD's dispatch number.  He wanted me to go to my bank, get cash out of my bank account, and purchase Google Play cards to pay the IRS.  I told him that he was trying to extort money from me and hung up.

I called the IRS and the man I spoke with said my account with them was in good standing for all years and that nothing was owed to them.  I then called the Harris County Sheriff's Office to file a report with them.  I told the officer who came to see me that if I was under arrest for anything, I'd save him the trouble.  The officer who responded checked to see if any warrants were issued for my arrest and found nothing.

The officer who responded said he received a similar call and also said he'd save the people who called him the trouble and arrest himself since he's a Police Officer, at which time they promptly hung up.  He said he had a family member who really did fail to pay the IRS what was owed and the IRS simply seized his assets and bank account.

The real IRS will just take money from your bank account if you owe them money.  If they don't have access to your bank account, they'll seize your vehicles, house, or other assets.  Furthermore, the real IRS doesn't care how you pay them, they just want the money.

If you receive a phone call like this, either hang up (what I did) or pretend to play along (what I should've done) so you can walk into a Police Station and have the phone call traced in order to arrest the people committing this fraud.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#5 2018-06-22 13:19:47

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,336

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

Louis,

I've no idea how common or uncommon this is, but wanted to put it out there as a PSA.  If everyone already knows about it, then that's great.  If not, then hopefully a few more people learn about it.  I don't spend my time thinking up ways to screw people over.

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#6 2018-06-22 17:23:28

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,325

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

Thanks as there are many scams on going everywhere and to smell a rat before they can do harm is good.
The apps on cell phones and web pages are full of them and making the wrong selection could open you up to losing your identity.

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#7 2018-06-23 08:58:53

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,898
Website

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

It just got worse.
Vancouver CRA scammers make woman hand over $6,000 but never posed as cops

UPDATE: June 22: Vancouver police have now issued a clarification about what happened during this recent CRA scam.

Police say the woman was scammed out of $6,000 by someone who called her claiming to be with the CRA. However, the rest of the story released by police Thursday is not true.

No one showed up at the woman’s door looking like RCMP officers, handcuffed her or drove her to Cambie Street and King Edward to take out money.

Police say at no time did she deal with anyone in person.

Please don't file a false police report. Be honest.

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#8 2018-07-18 10:37:56

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

I unfortunately DID get scammed by this system; what was bad about the guy calling me was having my complete S.S. number. That lent credence to the fraudster. Didn't get much before I woke up to what was going on. Took it to the FBI and local police.

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#9 2018-07-18 13:50:58

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,336

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

Oldfart1939,

Please tell me you didn't pay them.  If you did, open an investigation with TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General's Office) and IRS so both agencies will come at the problem from both ends.

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#10 2018-07-18 14:50:31

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

They "got me" for $200 as a "good faith gesture." The FBI has everything I could provide, and the caller was outside the US using a repeater USA phone number. It smelled fishy, but occurred at the same time my wife had passed away, which rendered me "vulnerable." Because of the small amount of money involved, the FBI said it couldn't be investigated. I was told that "others in my local community" had been bilked for >>$10,000. That had their full attention.

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#11 2018-07-18 21:07:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,325

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

With the issues of all the hacked data bases there is every chance these days that a SSN will be known, the phone numbers even for cellphones from places of social media as well and an address is about all it take to fish for what they want.
We have learned that even answering an unknown number may be all it takes to get the electronics hacked with this current generation of smart phones.
You were lucky in that it was not more, One of my sons had his bank account hacked for about the same from just visiting a website so it does not take much. He was lucky that he did not lose more and was lucky that the bank did reverse the charges and closed that account. Such that they could go after the intruder....

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#12 2018-07-18 22:08:22

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,336

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

SpaceNut,

Anyone who thinks that any part of their personal information will remain private in the computer age is living in a world I'm not familiar with.  There are certain practices one can implement to reduce attack surface and minimize vulnerabilities, but in the end if a thief is determined to obtain and exploit personal information, it will be done.  That's just the way it is and I'm not sure what can really be done about it.

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#13 2018-07-19 18:47:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,325

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

You miss the real point thou in that if hacks can not be stopped as in that we can then lose to espionage as well, safety overides could occur on reactors and power grid damage or losses and so much more as they continue to gain control of the US internet....

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#14 2018-07-19 21:10:30

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,336

Re: Phone Scam from Individuals Claiming to be IRS Employees

SpaceNut,

If someone really wants to steal something from us, they're going to find a way to do it.  Even if a Chinese military officer had to infiltrate a US military base to escape with a F-22 or F-35, he or she could do it.  Their problem has always been replicating technologies after they steal it.  They just can't seem to do that.  That's the problem with stealing stuff for so long that you lack the drive or creativity to figure out how it works.  If stealth technology really didn't work, do you really think they'd waste so much time and money trying to build their own stealth fighters or trying to steal ours?

As I've stated several times before, the Chinese can't make a jet engine that simply lasts more than 5,000 hours before it's completely trashed and the only domestic jet engines they make are based on Russian designs with similarly short lifespans.  Our engines go 10,000 to 15,000 hours before a tear down for a hot section inspection and the newer ones can live nearly indefinite lives with proper maintenance.

The latest Russian fighter jet engines are so sensitive to FOD that the Indian Sukhois that join in the reindeer games at Red Flag require 1 minute takeoff intervals to avoid FOD'ing out their engines.  In contrast, all of our fighters (A-10 / F-15 / F-16 / FA-18 / F-22 / F-35) are so closely spaced in takeoff that they're literally sucking in exhaust from the ship ahead of them.  We'll typically have 3 to 4 ships airborne in the time it takes the Chinese or Russians to get 1 airborne (single file down the runway).

The Russians replicated the serial numbers on B-29 parts using B-29's that made a forced landing in Russia during WWII because they had no system of their own to replicate what we did to create the B-29.  It was like handing the keys to a Ferrari to some kid from an Amish farm who had never seen a car before.  After a massive engineering and development effort, the Tupolev Tu-4 (B-29 copy) flew, but they never really solved the engine problems with their direct copy or their own derivative because they didn't really understand the technology.  The same thing happened years later when they "captured" a Sidewinder that failed to detonate after striking one of their fighters.

I'm not saying they aren't capable, because they certainly are, but I've never seen them demonstrate the level of technical understanding or commitment to be a real threat to us.  Some of their technology is truly ingenious, but it's just not on the same level as our is.  I think the better part of a century has proven that nuclear weapons aren't an effective deterrent to conventional ways of fighting wars, so conventional wars will be the way of the future.

The only technology where our adversaries have achieved a relative level of technological parity has been in missile technology.  Even at that, their sensors and electronics are comparatively crude.

Are they a threat?  In as much as they have thousands of nuclear weapons, yes.  Apart from that?  Not really.  They don't have navies with capabilities that come anywhere near our navy and their aircraft are at least a decade behind ours, if not two decades.  Their turbine engine technology hasn't advanced appreciably from where our technology was in the late 50's to early 60's, in terms of reliability and durability.  In another two decades, who knows.  I don't have a crystal ball to peer into.

The power grid stuff is relatively simple.  You don't connect it to the internet.  Joe Average can figure that out.  The internet itself isn't controlled by anybody because it's not possible.

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