Tis the season, and I don’t mean holly and jolly. The IRS scammers are at it again. This time, instead of a broken English speaker on the other end of the line, its a computer generated voice demanding your immediate compliance and call back to a random Washing DC number. Don’t be fooled. When the REAL IRS wants to get in touch with you, will know. I have been contacted by the IRS before due to an error on my taxes. I received a certified letter and verified the authenticity by going to the official IRS website and contacting them from the information available.
What are the scammer after?
Just for fun, I called the number back. It was at this point the person I expected picked up on the other end of the line. They immediately wanted to confirm my full name, date of birth, and social security number. I said, being the IRS, you should have this information. The man on the other end said due to privacy laws he could not read my information to me. I then said how about you just give me the last four of my social. The line went dead. So what was he after? My personal information. I am sure if I would have given him what he was after, then next line of questioning would have been for a credit card number or bank information to “give me my back taxes” or “charge me back taxes due”.
What can you do?
A good first step to stopping this type of activity is to report it. Block the callers as they happen and make sure to add yourself to the national do not call list. Don’t call them back, ask to be taken off the list, or in any way engage with them as this will lead to more calls. For example, I have gotten text messages like this before and replied to them with imaginative words. The text messages increased 10 fold.
A good place to find more information and report scams/fraud:
In the end, just be careful. Don’t give your information to anyone over the phone unless you have verified they are who they say they are.