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IRS Robo Calls, How Much Is It Costing The USA

IRS Robo Calls, How Much Is It Costing The USA 0

IRS phone scammers are relentless in the USA. With a complex tax system and a vulnerable ageing population, scammers have been targeting victims via phone, email and post. 

Fraudsters are banking on fear and threats to work on the American public when it comes to conning them out of money. Treasury Inspector, Russel George, said that anytime a call comes in and they threat legal action and demand you pay up, it is definitely not the IRS making that call.

The IRS has posted guidelines to help people handle these scenarios If you receive a robo call claiming to be them:

  • If you owe federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call theIRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
  • If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov, or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint

The issue comes when scammers call multiple times and leave increasingly frequent and numerous messages. After you detect one, block that number. You can use a CPR call blocker V5000, it comes preloaded and the nuisance and potentially dangerous numbers come up on the screen so you can keep an eye on them. Hit the button and the number is blocked forever. 

Below is an informative video from Click Orlando, no phones are unreachable from scammers and the amount of money conned out of American Citizens is shocking. 

Identity Theft Scammers Pose As US Immigration Employees

Identity Theft Scammers Pose As US Immigration Employees 0

There seems to be a consistent trend with scammers targeting people over the phone. We previously spoke about not saying ‘yes’ on the phone due to voice recording. Scammers are getting more creative with ways to rip people off and there has been another one doing the rounds.

In the USA the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general warned that scam artists are calling victims claiming to work for “U.S. Immigration”. The scam artists are calling victims across the country seeking to steal their personal information and commit identity theft. The scammers until now have had the upper hand as the number that victims receive the incoming call from looks like the Department of Homeland’s hotline number (1-800-323-8603). The technique is called spoofing, scammers manipulate the caller ID to fool victims into believing that the call and information they manipulate out of them is conceivable.

"The scammers demand to obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General said in its fraud alert at the end of April. It also noted that many of the scammers "reportedly have pronounced accents." The inspector general went on to note that the Department of Homeland Security never uses its hotline to make outgoing calls, the hotline is only for incoming calls from the public. The DHS has urged the public to not answer calls from this number and to under no circumstances divulge personal information.

At this point, there have only been around a dozen complaints made, although a low number it is believed that the target groups have been immigrants to the country who may be too afraid to speak up. Erin Quinn, a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, commented that immigrants are unlikely to come forward due to fear of being caught up in the heightened immigration enforcement dragnet.

It hasn’t just been identity theft that the scammers have been focused on. Fraudulent groups have also been using spoofing to impersonate Internal Revenue Service agents. The targets of these malicious scams have been vulnerable groups, such as immigrants, with threats being made such as deportation or losing their driver’s licence if they don’t pay a sum of money immediately.

At the start of April, Bharat Patel, an Indian national living in Illinois pleaded guilty for his role in exploiting victims financially by liquidating and laundering payments generated in scams, according to a USCIS press release. His admissions plea included information regarding call centres in India where staff would impersonate officials from the IRS of USCIS to defraud victims. Patel confessed that they used information from date brokers and additional sources to target victims. 

USA citizens are urged to remember that the USCIS will never ask you for personal information or for payment over the phone. 

The IRS is NOT going to call you out of the blue

The IRS is NOT going to call you out of the blue 0

The USA has seen an increase in organised groups impersonating government bodies to scam members of the public. U.S investigators commented to the press on Thursday that eight people in Miami had been arrested. Those arrested have allegedly targeted individuals and accumulatively stolen millions of dollars from thousands of taxpayers. To con these people the incarcerated group created schemes where they impersonated aggressive Internal Revenue Service agents.

These arrests follow a trend. Last year five suspects were arrested for involvement in a scam that bilked an estimated $36.5 million from an estimated 6,400 victims nationwide. The scammers, in this case, were also located in Miami and impersonated the IRS. 

All eight suspects in the most recent case were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud. Collectively they are suspected to have stolen from more than 7000 victims. The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration office commented that almost $8.8 million was stolen.

With the victims being threatened with arrest from the fake IRS employees, many wired funds through methods such as MoneyGram and Walmart2Walmart Money Transfer. What is key for the public to remember is, “No legitimate employee of the United States Treasury Department or the Internal Revenue Service will demand that anyone make payments via MoneyGram, Western Union, Walmart2Walmart Money Transfer, or any other money wiring method, for any debt to the IRS or the Department of the Treasury,” Inspector General J. Russell George said in a statement.

Cleverly in the most recent scam, on average the amount demanded by the fake IRS employees was under $1500. By demanding a smaller sum worried residents were more likely to hand over their money, especially when being threatened with arrest.

Anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and demanding immediate payment should be reported and you can do so online here Treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml