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IRS Impersonators Now Calling from India

 Posted on January 18, 2017 in IRS Scams

irs tax scam, san jose tax law attorneyScammers have long pretended to be the IRS in order to prey on taxpayers in the hopes of scaring them into paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. In reaction to this, the IRS warns consumers of these scams, which take on many forms. 

Recently, there has been an uptick in IRS scams coming from India. One 29-year-old woman, who ultimately gave into the scammer’s request for money, said that the person who called her had a foreign accent and confused basic English phrases. 

Twice in the conversation, the scam victim said the person on the phone said she owed 1,000 rupees, which is the currency used in India. Both times he corrected himself and said she owed $1,000.

The scammer demanded that she go to a nearby grocery store and purchase an iTunes gift card. The scam victim complied and gave him the card number to an iTunes card worth $500.

India call centers are often used to provide customer service, but now it appears they can be used for more dangerous purposes. 

Signs You May Be Getting Scammed

The IRS estimates that scammers collected over $23 million from taxpayers since October 2013. That $23 million was paid by 4,500 victims.

While call centers in India are a new twist, IRS scams often share similar qualities. You should know that the IRS does not:

  • Demand immediate payment over the phone. The IRS always sends a paper bill in the mail first.
  • Say that you do not have the option to appeal or question the amount you owe.
  • Require tax obligation payment through a specific form, such as money orders or gift cards.
  • Threaten you with arrest by police for nonpayment.

What to Do If You Think a Scammer Contacted You

If a scammer is contacting you, hang up immediately and do not give out any information. You should also report the scam to the proper authorities. This is crucial to protecting others who might be more trusting. 

You can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484. The Federal Trade Commission also accepts reports of IRS scams through its online FTC Complaint Assistant. 

Call a San Francisco Bay Area Tax Attorney

If you are unsure about your tax obligation, contact a legal professional that can answer your questions. John D. Teter is a skilled San Jose tax law attorney who counsels people every day who need help with tax issues. Contact our office at 408-866-1810 for an initial consultation.



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