Page 1 of 1

More IRS scams

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:47 pm
by Number Six
MILFORD -- The voice on the other end is assertive: "My name is Peter Martin and I am calling to inform you of enforcement actions executed by the U.S. Department of Treasury."

The words are threatening: "Ignoring this will be an intentional second attempt to avoid an initial appearance before a magistrate judge or a grand jury for a federal criminal offense."

And the message is demanding: "My number is 949-873-8412. I would like you to cooperate with us."

A call to that number threatened arrest within 45 minutes unless payment was made immediately.

But like the European lottery you won, the dying woman who picked you to transfer her millions, and the Windows IT technician who claims your computer is history without his help, this too is a scam.

But not just any scam -- the largest ever confronted by the IRS.

"The volume of complaints received by TIGTA's (the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's) Complaint Hotline Center about this scam is unprecedented," said Timothy P. Camus, TIGTA's deputy inspector general for investigations. "Since October of last year we have received more than 130,000 contacts about this scam and reports of $8 million in losses."

In Connecticut, 43 residents sent $726,524 to the scammers, a TIGTA spokesman said. Another 19 state residents surrendered some form of personal identification information.

Last weekend, calls from "Treasury officers" using anglicized names like Peter Martin and Anthony Cooper hit Milford. Other weeks they targeted residents in Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/a ... 803014.php

It's hard to believe that people would fall for a scam where the victims are instructed to fill a Green Dot card with money and give the number to an IRS agent as "payment", but you never know how limited citizens' power of reasoning is with these scattershot scam calls.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:33 pm
by Famspear
Sec. 912. Officer or employee of the United States

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.


--18 USC section 912.

I would love to see the *ssholes caught.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:33 pm
by Judge Roy Bean
Famspear wrote:
Sec. 912. Officer or employee of the United States

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.


--18 USC section 912.

I would love to see the *ssholes caught.


It's just too easy and getting caught is unlikely.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:06 pm
by LaVidaRoja
Just received a call. A recording, in an accented voice stated that the caller was "Julie Smith" from the IRS (no job title, no ID number given) and that I was to call 415-506-1282 as soon as possible, that this was a serious matter and I should not ignore it.

I immediately went to www.tigta.gov and reported it.

So many indicia of scam. No job title, a recording, no mention of my name, no tax year or type of tax matter. Oh yes, while I know that many IRS jobs are handled by phone and de-centralized, I strongly doubt that there are any ACS units in San Francisco!

When I tried to call it in to TIGTA, I realized that it is after 5 pm on a Friday afternoon in D.C. Not too likely to get a human at that time. That's when I decided to use the on-line method of reporting.

Note - for reporting it is TIGTA.gov, NOT IRS.gov

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:41 pm
by Judge Roy Bean
LaVidaRoja wrote:Just received a call. A recording, in an accented voice stated that the caller was "Julie Smith" from the IRS (no job title, no ID number given) and that I was to call 415-506-1282 as soon as possible, that this was a serious matter and I should not ignore it.

...


I would also suggest you report the incident to your phone carrier as well. They can access and preserve the call records for any future wire-fraud investigation.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:58 pm
by LaVidaRoja
Shall do. Received a second call just now. Perhaps a follow-up as I am not sufficiently cowed to call back? Reported it again. If I had a Trak phone, I would call the number and see what the rest of the scam is.

I am not certain, but the accent MAY be what I call a "computer" accent. Either that or they are using some manner of voice alteration device.

My local carrier (Century Link) said they can not track numbers coming in.

I also have to call/smell scam with a call like this late on a Friday afternoon. Nearly 5 pm? I don't think so.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:25 am
by Number Six
I was trying to grasp what kind of idiots would act on these empty threats, but a certain percentage of the population act out of fear when fraudulent calls like this come in as well as debt collectors that may or may not be legitimate. Maybe those called who then go fill up the Green Dot cards and give the caller the access number or wire money to the "IRS" agent have hidden transactions in the past and they figure their numbers have finally come up with the big, bad, all-powerful IRS?

Senator Blumenthal wants the high intelligence agencies to use their powers to nail those doing this fraud: http://southingtonobserver.com/2014/10/ ... out-scams/

NSA, FBI, etc., would they be any good identifying the crooks?

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:38 am
by LaVidaRoja
It's a low-risk, high-rewards scam. I was told that "This is a time sensitive matter" There was an implication of threat. Two calls of this nature in about one hour would freak a lot of people. Not only was I already VERY aware of the scam, but as a former IRS employee, I know extremely well how taxpayer contacts have to be made. I wasn't at a phone that has caller ID on it, so I don't know where the calls originated. As I said, the call-back number was a San Francisco area code. I reported the second call as well. Whether TIGTA contacts me is an open question. I basically gave them everything I had on the call(s). Likely, without an originating number (which could of course be spoofed) I didn't give them anything they don't already have.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:57 am
by Burnaby49
We get phone calls like that all the time but credit card related. The automated message doesn't give a specific person the call is for, just apparently anyone who picks up the phone. The message is along the lines that your credit card has been compromised (no identification of what kind of card it is) and unless I call a specified number to resolve this quickly my credit cards will all be cancelled. I've never phoned and my cards, needless to say, still work.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:20 am
by Number Six
If I got a call like that I would be tempted to play along with the con: stretch it out time wise as long as possible making the con-artist think they have a really rich dupe on the line, meanwhile the authorities are contacted to trace the call back to a physical address and nab the crooks.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:02 pm
by Kestrel
The problem is that such calls typically come from a Voice-over-IP spoofed number, and that by merely answering the call you've identified yourself as a live person with a working number. The VoIP spoofing, plus the fact that the robo-dialer servers are located outside the US, makes it very difficult for the FTC to stop them. Worse, there is a network of criminals who buy and sell phone numbers, and numbers confirmed valid are worth money to these bastards.

Playing along merely flags you to receive more calls, either for this scam or another one. Pissing off the caller bumps you up to the top of the call-again list. I was the victim of non-stop harassment by the "Rachel from card services" scams, with calls one to four times a day for four years. I played along at first myself. But the computer robo-dialers were relentless, and it took changing my phone number to put a stop to the calls.

Why did I let it go on for four years? The calls were coming in to my cell phone, it was a number I used for business so I didn't want to change it, and when I finally said "enough" I had to wait out the term of the cell phone contract so I didn't get charged extra for cancelling.

Re: More IRS scams

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:49 am
by Number Six
It makes you pine for the days of only landlines. Now anyone can get a cheap cellphone at Walmart or as you say just use a computer for virtually free internet calls. It's too bad we can't lob a few cruise missiles into their computer rooms in Nigeria etc. or drop a bunker buster on them, but there would probably be collateral damage and human rights rallying to their defense....