How many of us have gotten the call which goes something like this:
“Hello? (thick accent) This is the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. ‘So and So’, you have a legal matter pending to be filed against you within the next 24 hours. To avoid arrest, you must call xxx-xxx-xxxx and reference Case Number (fake case number). If you do not call us back within 24 hours, your local law enforcement will arrest you.”
Okay, first, let’s make something very, very clear.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t need to hire local law enforcement. They are perfectly capable of taking care of business, as they have their own IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CI) with badges and guns and really cool uniforms. In the years between 2005-2014, they spent over $11 million on guns and ammo. Again, they don’t need your local sheriff.
And, threatening arrest is not their first move when you owe back taxes.
So how does the IRS contact you?
The first notification from the IRS will be a letter. No helicopters, swat teams, or AR-15 military-style rifles. Just a plain paper letter. The worst fall-out from this communication might be a paper cut from the envelope.
So, if your phone rings and some person on the other line is trying to convince you to send money RIGHT NOW or even,”We prefer the funds sent via Itunes gift cards”, you are safe to just hang up.
However, this week, things changed.
On Monday, July 18, 2016, a Georgia couple received one of these scam calls and, when they wisely balked at the demand for money, the scammer called the police and reported an active shooter situation inside their home.
Cherokee County deputies showed up with guns drawn and surrounded the house. Eventually, order was restored and thankfully, no one was hurt, but this could have gotten out of hand quickly.
Be aware of the seriousness of this crime and don’t fall for the scam. Since 2013, over $23 million hard-earned dollars have been handed over to these thugs. Don’t be a victim.
Share this information with your family and friends. Be aware the caller ID can be made to look like the Internal Revenue Service. If you get a call, hang up immediately. Do not engage in conversation. If you want to make sure you don’t owe taxes, call 1-800-366-4484 and discuss the phone call to ease your mind.
And lastly, report the call to the Treasury General for Tax Administration HERE
Times are tough. Be tougher. Stay smarter than the bad guys and keep your money safe.