IRS Scammers Really CAN Send a Swat Team

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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?

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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.

Every little nickel and dime and $18 counts!

Today, I reduced my comcast bill by $18 per month by returning the rented modem and using my own modem and also, removing the digital boxes from two tvs we hardly ever watch.

That’s $216 saved each year and sadly, $3456 we spent on renting these items over the 16 years we have lived here.  $3456!! That actually makes me a little sick. For that amount of money, I could take a family to Disney world! Buy a used car for a struggling friend!

Are you paying these fees? If you are, I want to challenge you to make a change and swap out your rented modem for a shiny new modem that you own. It’s not difficult, albeit a little intimidating.  I purchased the Arris SB6183 modem from Bestbuy, called comcast, told the agent the serial number for the activation, attached the power cord, the ethernet cord and voila! We had internet!

I gathered up the old modem, power cord, the guest room digital boxes with their cords and remotes, and took advantage of a great new partnership comcast has with UPS. I dropped off the equipment, signed my name, and they shipped it back for free.

It was that easy!

If you have a house phone, the Arris modem doesn’t have a phone jack so I took care of that with the OBI202 and a google voice number. Now we have our house phone with a new number which I chose,our mobiles, and thankfully, we will no longer be hearing from “Rachel at card services.”  Any voice mails come to me as a text and it all took less than two hours. If you want address-identifying 911 service from your house phone you will need to sign up for 911 service at Anveo. Again, this was easy and done via the OBI website.

Was it a pain in the rear?

Yes, yes it was…just a little. But I took care of that with a slice of key lime pie.

Now, we have $18 per month back in to our budget where it belongs!