IRS does not call (text, email, fax) demanding immediate payment

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Plain and simple the IRS is not going to call you on the phone demanding payment. But, it’s annoying nonetheless.

IRS Logo

“I received two phone calls today from someone claiming to be from IRS,” says Pam Brown of Boise. “They had trouble with the English language, so I suspect it is a scam.”
When she checked the caller ID it read 415-251-0522  as an “International call” and Ymax Comm S Corp.
“They called this morning and left a message and then called back as soon as my voice mail ended the call and one more time without waiting for the voice mail,” she says. “Then again, this afternoon, they called again. I interrupted the last voice message before he ended the call and asked him for his IRS Agent number, he gave 1549.”
She then asked him who he was calling for, he said “Brown.”
“I asked him what Brown, and he replied Paul Brown” Pam says. “I told him there wasn’t anyone with that name at this number.  As soon as I hung up the phone, it rang twice from the same number and without leaving messages.”

The IRS says this scam has been in every state of the U.S. and often targets recent immigrants. The scam works like this: The caller threatens you with jail or other consequences unless you wire money.

The Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to ask for personal or financial information. The IRS does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or ask for a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If you get behind on your taxes, first attempt to contact you will be through the U.S. mail.

Other scams that can take place include email or fax, text messages and social media channels. Some fraudulent websites impersonate the IRS where scam artists routinely pose as tax preparers during tax time, luring victims in by promising large Federal tax refunds or refunds  people never dreamed they were due in the first place.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming IRS:

  • 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.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
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4 Comments

Filed under Scam alert

4 responses to “IRS does not call (text, email, fax) demanding immediate payment

  1. Mark Burrows

    This one did give me a bit of a chuckle, because when Pam Brown said the caller had trouble with English, jokingly to myself I said, “Oh, no! The IRS has out sourced to India!”
    I very much doubt that the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America would contract consumer calling to India. Then on the other hand, who knows? Many major companies have done it to the folly of not providing income to citizens of their own country. The consumer calling concept is part of the Government of India and they have created the companies that do the contracting providing free education and other benefits to their employees along with low wages. It has boosted the economy of India that the face of the nation is changing rapidly and they are moving up the ladder of education, medicine, manufacture, science and discovery.
    In the meantime, back at the ranch, North America is not economically stable and we are under constant assault by all kinds of illegal opportunists that are robbing us of what little the common person has.
    We are rapidly loosing what is considered middle class. As the saying goes, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. The people in the middle either have to scratch their way to the top or fall down among the majority of borderline poverty or lower.
    It is those that do not have a lot, that are being victimized. Do you think that for a moment a wealthy person would bend to any such threat? Well for one thing, they wouldn’t receive the call anyway, a secretary would who would transfer the call to legal or accounting, where the call would end abruptly. Wealthy people do not have their phone numbers easily listed, even if they did, it would be answered by staff and be told to direct their call to the office during business hours as that was a private residence and their home was their private domain.
    Well, fact is, so is your home your private domain. I have said it many times. Do not dally on the phone. Tell callers to send you documents via registered mail if they are that important and you will attend to them accordingly. It is as simple as that. If they wish to verify your address, hang up because you know they don’t know sh…….er crap.

    Mark Burrows

  2. Abdulaziz

    I got several phone calls and voice mails. Same group of people trying to make money at the expense of others. They are such idiots and they leave names like Sebastian, Samson, Noah, David, Caine, Moses, etc. I wonder if they are Christians from India. They have a very strong Indian accent and they try so desperately to sound like an American……and it comes out so ridiculous. I called the police and they listened to the voice mail and said they cannot anything about it because this is a free country and some idiots do stupid things. This scam caller thingy is an extension of what many American kids enjoy doing: prank calls and abusing people with bad accent. Can the police stop this Sebastian/Moses guy? Can the police stop American kids from making prank calls and abusing people? NO!

  3. Pingback: TAS logo part of latest IRS scam | snakeriverBBB

  4. Mark Burrows

    Well, police can do things, but they won’t unless you are in fear for the welfare of your family, your home, and from physical harm. Phone pranks are more along the lines of being a nuisance, and easy enough to remedy by changing your phone number. These days, network deals are so amazing, home phones are becoming a thing of the past because it is less expensive to put the family on a cell phone plan that it is to pay for a land line each month. Most have smartphones adaptable to WiFi so when at home, they run their phones of off the computer network and save money. This, you can block all the calls you want, only let through ones you create on a contact list. All others will automatically go to voice mail. You can do this also with some land line services if they are offered.
    Yes, we need to become more responsible to stop these troublesome callers from being both annoying and trying to scam you.
    In this case, the best defense is a strong offense. Talk to these people, but instead of answering questions, ask questions. Don’t be rude or crude, just keep piling on the questions as if you were seeking information.
    Questions like name of the company, again. What is the city and address of the head office. What is the phone number of the head office. Who is in charge of sales. Who is in charge of investments.
    This will trip them up, because they have a system or a script to which they do their scam or prank. If you pretend to have serious interest and ask questions beyond their ability to answer, their lies will become more ridiculous. More likely, they will simply bail and hang up thinking that you are actually on to them and the call is being traced.
    Look, I am a Psychologist. So what I am telling you is that what a scam is, is just psychological manipulation, so you have every right to use the same methods to fire back and protect yourself. Yes, call it psychological warfare if you wish, because anyone who causes you discomfort and does not back off when you ask them to, is more likely enemy than a friend. Their goal is to take advantage of you any way they can and cause you further discomfort. You have every right to fight back, on equal terms.
    If they wish to be idiots, they enjoy playing along as another idiot, they will clue in soon enough that you are not an idiot at all, but you are on to them and could actually be a threat. Yet, it doesn’t work if you get angry and start yelling and swearing, they will just feed off of that, and keep it up until you could start taking your frustration out, on what you can get your hands on. Not a good idea. Think about it.

    Mark Burrows

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