The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.Case in point--the following message was left on our answering machine today:
"Regarding an enforcement action instituted by the United States Treasury intending to [garbled] against you. Ignoring this message will be an intentional second attempt to avoid an initial appearance before the magistrate judge of a grand jury for a Federal criminal office. The number to reach us would be (305) 587-2971. I repeat the number is (305) 587-2971. I advise you to cooperate with us. Thank you."Of course I didn't call them back. I wish there was a way to "cooperate" with these scammers and even send them a few $$ to help nail them on wire fraud or some other charges. However, law enforcement advises that it's best not to do anything and let the authorities handle the situation.
The most successful cons prey on people's greed (unclaimed million$ in a Nigerian bank account), hopes (cures for an incurable disease) and fears (ruin by the IRS). It's a sad reflection on the relationship between the government and the governed that the fear scam has been so successful.