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