The IRS is filing a Lawsuit against you scam has rolled out to the beach. At 6 am this morning, this writer got a Robo-Call from a VoIP number in Texas. The number 832-895-3481 that rolled me out of bed was identified by our friends at Privacy Star as a VoIP line provided by PAETEC STARNET. The number claims to originate from Friendswood Texas, which has no IRS field office by the way. The problem is VoIP numbers are almost free and you can use them to call from anywhere.
If you get a ROBO-CALL saying the IRS is filing a Lawsuit, don’t fall for it. According to the IRS it is a scam. These people will ask you to wire cash to an account which you will find later is quickly closed after your money is long gone.
While there are phishing emails out there also claiming that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you, don’t believe it. Having misfiled a tax document many years ago, I can tell you that the IRS will be very clear what they are after and why. Each of the letters I received explained it down to the form number and filing date they were looking at.
“Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money,” “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Remember, The IRS won’t just file a lawsuit against you and will never:
• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
• Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
• Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
• Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you think the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you, visit The IRS Scams website.
Tax time is hard enough without thieves trying to grab what’s left of your money. Report these calls through a service such as Privacy Star where the data can be complied and given to the proper authorities.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
- You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.
If you did lose money to this scam please report it immediately at the Treasury department website so they can track these guys down.