Beware of a fake US IRS Scam - latest tech tips

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Beware of a fake US IRS Scam

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Last week a friend of mine got a call from Washington DC from a lady who identified herself as Victoria working for US Capitol police in Washington DC. The call actually took him by a huge surprise as it was totally unexpected. There is a huge scam going on especially targeting Indians living in United states who have recently arrived in the country and here is how it works. You will get a spoof call from a number 202 224 0908 from Washington DC. This number belongs to US Capitol police in Washington DC. Its a legitimate number but the call you get is fake. These scamsters use VoIP calling and some spoofing mechanism to pretend that they are calling from this number.

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First Step of the IRS Scam:

A lady officer Victoria (fake officer, fake name and name might change) from US Capitol police with number 1 202 224 0908 will call and ask victim if you are Mr XYZ. Since its a call from US Capitol Police you will become immediately cautious and share your address. The next thing she will tell you is that you have an arrest warrant against your name and you should be present at home next day morning to get arrested. Well the very fact that you hear the word arrest warrant will take you by a huge surprise and you will be scared to death. If you inquire more the officer will tell you that you were served 2 notices but you did not receive them and now the case is with Legal department and will be transferred to Sheriffs office in your local area.

By this time you are scared to death and don't know what to do. Then the officer will tell you if you want to talk to the officer in charge for more details.

Second Step of the IRS Scam:

A new call will come in about 5 mins from a number called 1 800 829 1040 (number belongs to IRS office in Philadelphia) if you are using latest smartphone you will see US Internal Revenue Service Office number flashing which will scare the hell out of you even more. A male officer will call you and tell details of your case. He will ask you if you have any information about your arrest warrant and the implications of them, if you are found guilty (several years in prison or a possible deportation). He will also have some sympathetic voice to win your confidence. By this time you are under immense pressure and would have probably gone insane.

Then the officer will tell that he cannot share all the information but can surely give some information about your fake case. Then he tells that whatever information is shared with victim(you) is been recorded and victim should not interrupt him while he is sharing the information. Whatever victim says on this phone call might be considered as evidence against the victim in this case (all this will add to victims tension and victim will start believing that the call is really legitimate).

Then the officer will ask the victim to quickly grab a paper and pen and write down case number which goes like 00/100/3636. Then he will say that Mr Victim residing at (address shared in previous call) with phone number (number which they already had) has committed an offense under US Patriots act section Bla Bla Bla. The offense is Transfer of funds to your home country and not telling US authorities and Department of homeland security. As per the act you need to pay 4% of every transaction you make and deposit $1000 as a security deposit which will be refunded when you file for your taxes.

By this time the victim gets really scared and asks what he can do to prevent getting arrested. Then the officer tells that victims case is already with legal department and there is very little he can do to help. He will even go to the extent of asking if the victim has an attorney (A lawyer) which in most cases will be no. Then he will say that he can check if victims file can get some sort of a exception from getting arrested. Then he will check his system and inform you that you are lucky the system is still allowing you take urgent action and save your self from getting arrested but the officer who called the Victim before has to approve this action.

Third Step of the IRS Scam:

The first fake officer Victoria will call back and ask the victim if he is ready to pay $1000 as a deposit for prevention of arrest. In my friends case he had already gotten suspicious by now and the lady officer mentioned that he needs to pay the money immediately or else the case will be transferred to the legal department. Since my friend was already suspicious by now said he did not have $1000 and the lady officer immediately mentioned that there is a provision of paying in installments of $500 each which was little hilarious. My friend then hung up the phone and he never got a call back. Luckily he was saved.

How does this scam work?

Some how these guys are able to get few details about the victims from some reliable sources. Since money transfer is the most common thing amongst Indians or any foreign nationals working in US the victims actually end up thinking they committed some unknowing offense.

Summary:

Never share any information about yourself over the phone. If you get a call from someone first ask if you can receive a written notice to take action. Never share any SSN related information over the phone. These scamsters might even have last 4 digits of your SSN to sound more legitimate but don't get panicked. Just like Indian government US government also first serves a notice of the offense to the person over the slow postal service and then further action is taken. Be aware and be safe. Share this will all friends from India.

Check below link for details about this Scam.

http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2014-03.htm

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

Be aware and be safe.

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