I was talking with a friend the other day about a phone call he had received from someone purporting to be from the IRS. My friend was told that he owed money to the IRS. The first question asked was; “Give me the name of your criminal defense lawyer”. When my friend challenged the caller for proof of who he was, the caller gave him a badge number and challenged my friend to look him up on the internet. The call lasted for nearly 10 minutes with the caller having answers to all my friend’s questions. The caller eventually hung up when my friend was unwilling to continue with the charade.
My friend retreated to the internet looking to see if there was any information about these type of calls.
From the IRS:
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.