Okay, so Tuesday evening I was sitting at my computer responding to comments on one of my blog posts, when the phone rang.
I looked to see the phone number on Caller ID and it displayed, “UNAVAILABLE - UNKNOWN CALLER”, so I didn’t pick it up. However, a few minutes later I noticed that the voicemail light was blinking, which meant that whoever it was had left a message. So I checked it and heard this recorded message:
“Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. Please call us back immediately on our department number at: 1-202-***-****.”
Suddenly all the hairs on my arms stood up, and I’m sure if I had been looking in a mirror I would have seen that all the color had drained from my face; leaving me ash white.
Yes, I just about had a heart attack from FEAR.
So I quickly listened to the message again and jotted down the phone number, and then called back.
It just rang and rang, but I got no answer.
So I called again.
And still no answer.
After I hung up the phone, I sat there and stared into space; wondering several things:
“Did I do something wrong on my recent tax filing; therefore the IRS was calling to tell me that I owed them money?”
“And if I did, why would they do something so extreme as to file a lawsuit against me?”
“Why didn’t they contact me first by mail?”
"Why were they calling me at 8:15 PM?"
“And what did they mean by a final notice because I hadn't received any prior notice?"
Something just didn’t make sense about the call. But still, I was scared and didn't think I'd be able to sleep that night, worrying about a lawsuit from the IRS.
After about ten minutes, I decided to go online and do a Google search.
I typed in: Why would the IRS call to tell me that they were filing a lawsuit?
And the first thing I saw at the top of the page was a blog post from an attorney who had also received a call from the IRS with the VERY SAME phone message! You can read about that HERE.
And think it’s terribly ironic that this particular attorney had received this call because she just so happens to work at the FTC, Federal Trade Commission, which prevents fraud, so she immediately knew that the call was a SCAM. I also read most of the comments on her blog post and couldn't believe how many other people had not only received this same call, but other scam calls as well. And several of them had been deceived by these impostor IRS calls and lost a great deal of money out of fear of being arrested for failure to comply. They seem to prey on the elderly.
Apparently from what his attorney said, IRS impostor scams are on the rise. And that if this should happen to anyone, they are to immediately report it.
Which I did.
Needless to say, I was relieved after I read her blog post. However, I did some further investigation that evening and discovered this about the IRS:
I also discovered THIS.
The reason why I'm sharing my experience today is let everyone know that if they should ever receive a phone message such as this one, claiming that they are from the IRS, it is a SCAM.
And please contact FTC and TIGTA to report it.
Have a grrreat weekend everyone!