More Cases of IRS Scam Calls Targeting Elderly
From：http://www.wgrz.com View：488 Date：2015-01-27
Buffalo, NY - We have been telling you for months now about a nasty phone scam by criminals posing as IRS agents.
The callers threaten their victims with arrest if they don't pay some supposed back taxes owed. A recent call to our 2 On Your Side Tipline shows us just how widespread the scam is.
Over the past several months, we have heard from dozens of people who have received a fake IRS phone call. And it could increase with a new tax season underway.
We'll say it upfront. If the IRS wants to contact you, they will send an official certified letter first and never a phone call.
The U.S. Treasury Department says this bogus scheme has swept the nation with more than 290,000 of these calls since October 2013.
Tragically, nearly 3,000 people have lost an estimated $14 million to these crooks posing as IRS agents.
They usually claim they're with the IRS Tax Audit department and demand immediate payment to supposedly settle your alleged back taxes.
They can request money transfer cards bought at a supermarket, or they may want your credit or debit card numbers. They may threaten a lawsuit and even an arrest warrant in your name.
There are variations, but these phoney callers are very persuasive and try to use certain information to scare people, especially elderly folks.
Some actually use a Washington D.C. area code to try and look official.
We recently got a call from a woman who says her business's local phone number was similar to one used by these scammers.
"It happens to be a number that is associated with my company. So I've had like 75 phone calls today from elderly people who think that the IRS is after them. You can't even imagine how pathetic it is. It's very sad because they're so relieved when they find out it's a scam," she said.
US Attorney William Hochul of the Western New York District says if federal agents were able to catch up with these scammers "We would use our mail fraud or wire fraud statutes. Those laws say that if you devise a scheme to rip somebody off such as this particular case it would be up to 20 years in jail or a $250,000 fine or both. They can spoof. That's a word we use to pretend as if they're from Washington, D.C. when they in fact may be from right here in Western New York. They seem to prey upon the elderly."
In some cases police officers, treasury agents, and even a relative of a federal prosecutor in Hochul's office have received these calls. They are possibly routed from overseas. Some stilted speech or somewhat incorrect grammar could as well be a tip-off it's a fake.
If you get one of these calls notify police or the Buffalo office of the IRS immediately. Federal officials say any real notification from the IRS would first come in a certified letter.There would never be a phone call for the original contact