RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s tax season and that means IRS scammers know you might be distracted by putting together your tax returns, so they are moving into overdrive to steal your money or perhaps even your personal info.
The letters I-R-S can strike fear in your heart and scammers use that fear when they send out robocalls like the one received by a CBS North Carolina viewer who alerted us to this latest version of an IRS scam.
The 30-second computerized voice in the Robocall says in part, “The IRS has issued an arrest warrant against you…right now you and your property are being monitored.”
CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL IRS SCAM CALL
That message left for Jay Shapiro was one of multiple attempts to scare him.
“They called my home phone,” he said. “In fact, they called it twice in the same minute. Then four minutes later they called my cellphone.”
He says it was the same phone number showing up on his caller ID, with the same voicemail left on both phones.
That told Shapiro the scammers were casting a wide net.
“If they called two of my numbers, they must have blanketed the whole area,” Shapiro theorized. “They are mass-calling people. How many called them back? That’s worrisome.”
The scams are not new but the IRS warns they are becoming more sophisticated. Use this link to learn about more IRS scams.
In Jay Shapiro’s case, the scammers called the wrong guy. He was wise to them and didn’t fall for their scare-patter.
He also said he never considered calling back the scammers to give them a piece of his mind, “because if I call them back, they get my caller ID,” he said.
Shapiro also feared by calling back he’d let the scammers know they’d reached an active phone number and he’d get put on a “sucker’s list” which he feared might be sold to other scammers.
If you get a call like that, the criminals may use a variety of threats. The IRS reminds people that they:
• Can’t revoke your driver’s license or business license
• Can’t revoke your immigration status
• Can’t bring in local law enforcement to arrest you
• The IRS also will not demand you pay a tax without giving you the opportunity to appeal
“I knew what this was about,” said Shapiro. “But, I know there are people who got that message and it would send a chill down their spine.”
Remember, the IRS always makes contact by sending a registered letter. It will never call, fax, or send an email to you to discuss a tax issue. This link explains your taxpayer’s bill of rights.
If you happen to receive one of those fake IRS calls, the best answer is to say nothing and hang up right away. You can also use this link to the United States Treasury Department to report an IRS impersonation scam.