My Impostor/Scam Call From The IRS


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!
X


38 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comApril 10, 2015

    So many scammers! It's such a shame. The worst ones are the people saying that they are calling from Microsoft and offering to help you with your computer. They then go onto to install sniffer software. They scammed my mother out of some money before we discovered what was going on. In the end, they got rid of the computer and had to buy a new one... So glad you were wiser!

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  2. This makes me so mad because of the worry it caused you. I'm so glad you googled it to find out what was going on. I have often googled just the phone numbers of these scammers and it's hilarious to read the comments! People seem to be fighting back, but we still get at least three a day. A lot of the dumb 'you've won an all-expense free trip.'

    Have a happy weekend, Ron and don't answer your phone!

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  3. Hey there Fiona!

    " The worst ones are the people saying that they are calling from Microsoft and offering to help you with your computer. They then go onto to install sniffer software. They scammed my mother out of some money before we discovered what was going on. In the end, they got rid of the computer and had to buy a new one..."



    Yikes, I've not heard about that scam!?! So sorry to hear about your mother, but I'm glad that you discovered what was going on. This kind of stuff infuriates me; especially when it happens to our elderly.


    And this scamming seems to be getting worse every year.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great weekend!
    X

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  4. How upsetting these calls are. I'm glad you did what you did in order not to play into their hands. People who do this sort of thing should be shot at dawn. We have noticed lately that unanswered withheld or unavailable numbers go straight to our answering service, which means we have to pay to check out who called. Like you we never answer the phone unless we know or have a reasonable idea who is ringing.

    A friend of mine has solved the problem by lifting the receiver and immediately replacing it. She said it saves her an awful lot of frustration. It stops the incessant ringing and also prevents them from getting through the voice mail ... he who laughs last laughs longest.... sort of thing. I really must try it.

    I heard the other day that moves are afoot to stop cold calling businesses from harassing us but I doubt if they will ever stop all of it, and certainly the scammers and spammers will find a way to get at us.

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  5. " I'm so glad you googled it to find out what was going on."

    Me too, Bijoux! I don't know what made me Google it, but I am so glad I did because I had not heard about this type of scamming, therefore I first thought it was a REAL call from the IRS. Scared me to death!

    "I have often googled just the phone numbers of these scammers and it's hilarious to read the comments! People seem to be fighting back, but we still get at least three a day."



    When I read the comments on that attorney's post, I noticed that these IRS scam phone numbers all seem to have a 202 area code, which is Washington, therefore I can see why people are believing that these calls are coming from the Internal Revenue Service.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

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  6. Ron, I can just imagine how harrowing a situation this must have been! Good for you, listening to your intuition and following up to learn the call really was a scam!

    I think these scammers prey on decent people's intentions to do the right thing. If they owe money, they want to pay. Sadly, too many folks still doubt others' abilities to pull the wool over their eyes!

    Great message, my dear. Glad you weren't taken in by the scam! Stay safe in those storms we had yesterday, and have a super weekend!

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  7. Hola Denise!

    "I've heard about these IRS fraudulent phone calls but never knew anyone who received one."



    I had never heard about these IRS phone calls, so at first I believed it. But then something just didn't make sense. And after reading that post, I was amazed by how many other people had received them. I am so glad I Googled it before getting in contact with that phone number.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a wonderful weekend!


    X

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  8. Hellooo there Debbie!

    " I can just imagine how harrowing a situation this must have been! Good for you, listening to your intuition and following up to learn the call really was a scam!"

    Truly, I almost had a heart attack because at first I thought the call was for REAL. But I am so glad I Googled it and found that blog post!

    "I think these scammers prey on decent people's intentions to do the right thing. If they owe money, they want to pay. Sadly, too many folks still doubt others' abilities to pull the wool over their eyes!"



    You're so right! And I think they especially prey on the elderly because they know they're more vulnerable.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific weekend!


    X


    P.S. yes, were getting quite a bit of storms these last few days.

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  9. Ron, I'm glad you were wise enough to further investigate the call before getting in contact because I saw this on CNN recently: http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/13/us/irs-scam/


    These IRS scammers are very shrewd and scaring the hell out of people into sending them money. And I can't believe they're getting away with it. I agree with Valerie, people who do this sort of thing should be shot at dawn!


    Thank you for sharing this post, Ron. I hope everyone reads it and learns.

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  10. Hey there Elaine!

    Thanks so much for sharing the CNN link. OMG, how scary!

    "These IRS scammers are very shrewd and scaring the hell out of people into sending them money."



    I agree, I can't believe that they're getting away with it because from what I've read, it's been going on for a few years and getting worse. And I also can't believe how aggressive they are!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

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  11. I'm so glad you didn't fall for that scam! I was visiting my parents in California last month, and they were getting 3 calls a day from the "IRS". My Dad finally told them to go F themselves, and they stopped calling.

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  12. Ron, I am so glad you googled it and found that blog post! Whew...I would have been scared too! I haven't heard about this specific scam so thanks for sharing the info. Doesn't it freak you out about how these scammers are able to do something like this? And posing as the IRS, no less. SCARY!


    Thanks for sharing this, dude!

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  13. Hey there Jean!

    " I was visiting my parents in California last month, and they were getting 3 calls a day from the "IRS". My Dad finally told them to go F themselves, and they stopped calling."



    HA! BRAVO! Good for your Dad! And yes, I read several comments on the post I referred to, in which people were saying that they received several calls a day!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super weekend!
    X

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  14. Hey ho Matt!

    " I am so glad you googled it and found that blog post!"

    Me too! Because let me tell you, I was VERY scared at first.

    "Doesn't it freak you out about how these scammers are able to do something like this? And posing as the IRS, no less. SCARY!"



    Yes, it does freak me out. TOTALLY! And I read several articles saying that MOST of these IRS scammers are from out of the country.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!
    X

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  15. I have heard about those calls!
    We were getting so many scam calls we finally took out our landline....and now we get those calls on our cells; ugh!

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  16. Mark PetruskaApril 10, 2015

    That scam's been going around for a while. I got the same exact call a month ago, Ron. I'll admit to a brief second or two of UNADULTERATED PANIC before coming to my senses and realizing the IRS couldn't come after me because I never filed taxes in the first place.


    KIDDING, government agents reading this comment! Check your records. I filed a month ago. Breathe deeply, gentlemen.

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  17. Hey there Suzi!

    "I have heard about those calls!"

    OMG, I hadn't, so I FREAKED out, believing that it was real!!!

    "We were getting so many scam calls we finally took out our landline....and now we get those calls on our cells; ugh!"

    Yup, and there was a time when they didn't have access to cell phones, however, now they do.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaabulous weekend!
    X

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  18. ".I got the same exact call a month ago, Ron."

    OMG, you TOO, Mark?!? And you're right, upon further investigating, I read that this scam has been going on since 2013. Maybe even longer.

    " I'll admit to a brief second or two of UNADULTERATED PANIC before coming to my senses and realizing the IRS couldn't come after me because I never filed taxes in the first place.

    KIDDING, government agents reading this comment! Check your records. I filed a month ago. Breathe deeply, gentlemen."



    Bwhahahahahaha! That CRACKED ME UP!!!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a faaaabulous weekend!
    X to you and Tara

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  19. Oh Ron....you poor thing. Thankfully you got yourself slowed down enough to ask yourself some very good questions. Can you imagine some 90 yr. old widow getting that call? Wow-- just the thought of that makes my blood boil. How dare they....perpetrating someone like that.
    OMG....
    Seriously, thanks for posting this. I'll warn The Brit who would keel over if he got that call--he doesn't know how stuff works here, know what I mean? Fore warned is fore armed.

    You can breathe and enjoy that camera. LOL

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  20. Ron, this same thing happened to a relative of mine last year and it scared the bejesus out of them at first, like you. Fortunately, they knew someone at work who had also gotten this same call and found out through them that it was a scam! Sorry you had to go through this but I'm very glad to hear that you followed your gut and did some research.


    Thank you for sharing because the more people who receive this scam call spread the word, the more helpful it is to those who may be in the same situation that you were in on Tuesday evening. This shit has to be stopped.

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  21. Hiya Mel!

    " Thankfully you got yourself slowed down enough to ask yourself some very good questions. Can you imagine some 90 yr. old widow getting that call?"

    I freaked out at first, but then something inside told me that this call made no sense. And you're right, can you imagine some 90 yr. old widow getting that call? I hate that these scam artists prey on those who are most vulnerable, such as our elderly.

    " I'll warn The Brit who would keel over if he got that call--he doesn't know how stuff works here, know what I mean? Fore warned is fore armed."

    And that's why I wanted to share this post today because finding that attorney's post helped me so much. Hopefully, if someone else goes through this same thing, they'll find this post.

    "You can breathe and enjoy that camera. LOL"



    HA! Yup! And speaking of which, I had off today so I took more photographs with my new camera. I'll be sharing them on Monday!


    Have a super-duper weekend, dear lady! And thank you for stopping by!
    X


    P.S. Hope your eye is feeling better and healing.


    ((((((( You ))))))))

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  22. Hey ho Robert!

    "this same thing happened to a relative of mine last year and it scared the bejesus out of them at first, like you. Fortunately, they knew someone at work who had also gotten this same call and found out through them that it was a scam!"

    Yaaay, I'm glad they knew someone at work who let them know that it was a scam! I'll tell you, it's a very scary feeling to get this call.

    "This shit has to be stopped."



    My sentiments exactly! That's why we need to speak up about this and also report it. It's infuriating that this stuff is going on.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a terrific weekend!
    X

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  23. Haven't received one of those yet, so thanks for the heads up! Phising scams are getting really clever! Glad the IRS isn't out to get you! Now you can have a calm and relaxing weekend. ;-)

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  24. You're welcome, Ron. Wasn't that CNN article/video such an eye opener?


    Have a super weekend too!

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  25. Yes, it sure was, Elaine! And thanks again for sharing it!


    X

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  26. Hey there Lisa!

    I hadn't heard about this one either, so I'm glad I found that blog post from the attorney because it really set my mind at ease.


    And yes, these scams are getting very clever. It blows me away by how they get our information to contact us. Scary.

    " Glad the IRS isn't out to get you! Now you can have a calm and relaxing weekend. ;-)"



    AMEN!


    Have a fabulous weekend, my friend, and thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  27. Geraldine H.April 11, 2015

    I'm getting so jaded with phone messages that I usually assume that something like this IS a scammer. I'm glad you didn't have a heart attack over this Ron!!!!


    No way does the gov't call after 8 in the evening (at least not in Canada) and here as well, it's letter mail not other forms of communication, when it's from the powers that be.


    Live and learn though, next time you'll smile and be prepared for anything like this! :-)


    Have a happy weekend, G

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  28. Helloooooo there Geraldine!

    "I'm getting so jaded with phone messages that I usually assume that something like this IS a scammer. I'm glad you didn't have a heart attack over this Ron!!!"

    Me too, and that's why after thinking about it for a moment, I knew something didn't make sense about this call. But at first, I was SCARED out of my mind!

    "Live and learn though, next time you'll smile and be prepared for anything like this! :-)"



    Yup!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope your weekend is going faaabulously!

    X

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  29. And those scammers float around that it's hard for them to be caught. The IRS is old school - everything they do is by letter.

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  30. "And those scammers float around that it's hard for them to be caught. "


    Yes, I think you're right. And from what I've read, many of these IRS calls are coming from outside the country.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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  31. I can only imagine your concern, Ron. I remember the first time I experienced something like this via email from Nigeria in the early 2000's. Do you remember that? But more recently something like what you experienced happened to me. Through cable, incoming calls show up on the tv screen. One came in last week, "u.s. government" and the telephone number which I noted. It was in my area code, but I didn't get upset because I know that the government does not call. It left a message asking for a name NOT related to us. I listened to it and it was now from social security. Another red flag. So, didn't bother except I was inclined to call social security and mention what happened.
    Didn't you feel violated, Ron? My number is private. So what's the point if anyone can get a hold of it or my email? I shake the initial frustration and anger, but it's always there in the back of my mind. That we're living in a time where this has become so commonplace. I bet there's an innocent senior or victim whom they'll succeed in affecting. It really is awful.
    Thank you for sharing your experience, Ron. Hope you're having a wonderful week! :))

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  32. "Through cable, incoming calls show up on the tv screen. One came in last week, "u.s. government" and the telephone number which I noted. It was in my area code, but I didn't get upset because I know that the government does not call. It left a message asking for a name NOT related to us. I listened to it and it was now from social security. Another red flag."

    OMG...you're kidding, it showed up on your cable TV screen!?!? Scary! And good for you for noticing the red flags.

    And yes, I did feel violated, even though my number is not private. Because I had just recently filed my income taxes, so I kept wondering if they knew any other personal information (like my social security number or banking info) because I file my income tax online.

    "we're living in a time where this has become so commonplace. I bet there's an innocent senior or victim whom they'll succeed in affecting. It really is awful."

    Yes, it is awful, isn't it? And this kind of thing needs to be stopped!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Petra. Have a wonderful week!
    X

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  33. i can't stand the IRS, who died and made them boss. i am so afraid of them and don't mess around either because they can make anyone's life a living hellllll!

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  34. " i am so afraid of them and don't mess around either because they can make anyone's life a living hellllll!"


    OMG, yes! That's why this call scared the HELL out of me. And I was beyond relieved to found out that it was scam call. Whew!


    Thanks so much for stopping by and catching up with my posts, Val!


    You're a sweetheart!
    X

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  35. We get calls like this at work all the time. And we are a law office. We get the computer ones too, with the people claiming they're our IT person and they have noticed a problem with our computer.

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  36. "We get calls like this at work all the time. And we are a law office.

    Wow! You too?

    " We get the computer ones too, with the people claiming they're our IT person and they have noticed a problem with our computer."



    Ironic you mentioned that because my boss at work said she gets the same ones. She also gets the scam phone calls claiming that your credit card number has been hijacked and used to purchase something. Then, they ask you to verify your credit card number over the phone; hoping that you'll give it to them. Then THEY use your credit card!


    UNbelievable!

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  37. BenzekneesMay 01, 2015

    Some of these phone scams are so clever! I'm glad you weren't taken in!

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  38. Me too, Benze! And yes, these scammers are SOOOOOOOO clever!
    X

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