Caller id is one of the greatest inventions. Too bad it doesn’t stop scammers in their tracks. They are still as clever as ever—out to get your hard earned money.
The other day my phone rang and the caller id showed my own telephone number on it. Weird? Yes. So for kicks, I decided to answer it. It was another scammer using what appeared to be my number to call. This time with a recorded phone call.
Those phone recordings are something else. Ever receive one from 321-328-1464? I did. It was a man supposedly named of “James Capstone.” I listened to this call just for you.
In the recording he uses some threatening legal language. To the tune of “U.S. Treasury”, “enforcement action”, “judge” and “grand jury.” He also warns you not to ignore this call or it will be an “offense.” Then for those Jerry Maguire movie fans, he throws in “help us to help you” hoping to get you to call the number.
Don’t believe the hype!!! If you are going to receive any type of notice like this regarding taxes, the U.S. treasury or any other government agency you’ll receive a written notification about it. You won’t have someone on the phone forcing you to pay now using your a debit card, money order or wire transfer to avoid jail time.
Calls like this have cost us over 28 million dollar$$$$$. Don’t be a victim.
According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:
“If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS or in a new twist, the Treasury Department, and uses the threat of legal action if you do not pay immediately, that is a sign that it is not the IRS calling, and your cue to hang up,” he said. “Again, do not engage with these callers. If they call you, hang up the telephone.”
Here is what you need to know. The IRS generally first contacts people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, a money order or a wire transfer. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number or your bank information over the phone.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, or your credit card or bank account information, here’s what to do:
- If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website, www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.