DONATE HERE

By Maggie Berkvist

“THIS IS A CALL CONCERNING A LEGAL CASE FILED AGAINST YOUR NAME WITH THE UNITED STATES TREASURY. THIS IS OFFICER (mumble mumble) OF THE UNITED STATES TREASURY… TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED A LEGAL PETITION CONCERNING A CASE FILED AGAINST YOUR NAME IN FEDERAL CLAIMS COURT. URGENT YOU CALL THIS NUMBER—BEFORE YOU ARE ARRESTED …..”

When the call came in, I actually listened to the message on my voicemail and let them hang up—immediately suspecting that it was a scam. But what if? So, silly me, I called them back. And in an email to my accountant afterwards, asking for his reaction, I told him:

“I got a guy who told me to engage a criminal lawyer right away because the IRS was filing a case against me re ‘errors’ on my 2011 and 2012 tax returns. That the IRS came to my address (yes, they knew it) on 7/22 and 7/24 to hand deliver a Notice of this case against me, but couldn’t reach me—so now they were going to arrest me, put me in jail/demand bail, and were accusing me of trying to ‘run away’ from their delivery—of which, of course, I had never previously heard a word! I asked, in that case why no notice of their attempt to deliver had been left at the building—

which, of course, there wasn’t—but he didn’t seem to have an answer to that.

It all sounded so bizarre/inexplicable! What were they going to get out of this? I kept waiting for the punch line. And since the bully on the other end was becoming increasingly threatening—

all in a distinctly Indian (from India) accent—I finally hung up on him.”

My accountant quickly got back to me with “Yes, indeed, this is a scam. The IRS will never call or threaten you.”

What I didn’t know when I got the voice mail message was that there has been a rash of such calls in this neighborhood of late so, WVN felt we should let our readers have a chance to learn from my mistake!

I have now found that there is an excellent IRS website

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Scam-Phone-Calls-Continue-IRS-Unveils-New-Video-to-Warn-Taxpayers

with information about how to recognize a scam, and what measures to take if you’ve been on the receiving end. Personally, I immediately followed this advice:

“If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov

When Arthur Schwartz heard about my experience, he wrote me warning of an even scarier scam:

“There is another bad one going around. They say they are from Microsoft or Google, and that they have detected something wrong with your computer. They have you go on a web site and then hit some buttons, and Voila, they are looking at your entire hard drive, which they load up with malware which allows them access remotely.”

Calling the FCC for their reaction, they suggested the following tips …

Contact your phone company

File a police report (required by some carriers)

Contact your bank and other financial institutions

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and get copies.

File a complaint at FCC.gov/complaints or 1-888-CALL-FCC

For further tips for minimizing risk check the Consumer Guide to Spoofing on https://www.fcc.gov/spoofing.

Plus, for total saturation, my FCC advisor told me one can access a very long (270.43 minute) Video of a Robocalling & Spoofing Workshop at

 

https://www.fcc.gov/events/workshop-focus-robocall-blocking-and-caller-id-spoofing.

 

Be my guest!

 

Tags :

Leave a Reply