One of the most common scams floating around is about the IRS and the threat of you getting sued by them. This scam is pretty lazy and purely based on an attempt of fear to the victim. I received the initial phone call with the recorded message and to call the IRS back at a phone number. So I grabbed my HD recorder and called them back.
Here’s how the scam works. You receive a robo call with a recorded message with a computerized voice. FIRST FLAG. The message is very broad and does not provide any details. It simply says that this is the IRS and your last warning. If you don’t call them back they will proceed with suing you. They leave a phone number and that’s it.
Now a real victim will be scared, afraid and not think through the situation. Call them back and get to the point of this scam where the “IRS” will make a deal with you to clear the lawsuit if you send them, via Western Union money transfer, a nominal fee. The fee is less than the back taxes they claim you owe so it’s a deal.
Here’s the call I recorded when I chased them down –
This scam is pretty easy to avoid, if you stop and think it through –
- First, the government will NEVER call you for any type of action like that. Always snail mail.
- Second, the government doesn’t move that fast. Do you honestly think the IRS or any other arm will magically sue you without them hounding you for months or years first?
- Third, the initial call never mentions your personal info, leave a reference number or any other information that you can use when you call back.
- Fourth, when you call this number they ask you for all your personal info. Didn’t they have that before? No reference or case number to use.
- Fifth, the most important scam flag is when Western Union, FedEx, WalMart or any other non-banking money transfer method is how you pay them. It’s pretty much untraceable, cash transfer and once you send it the money is gone.
Once you hear these in bulk you get to know quickly how to identify them and how to avoid them. Unfortunately people fall for this everyday, it’s a market and it will continue to survive as long as the money flow.
Spread these posts around, educate those that don’t have the background. Let them know the world is a nasty place and there are those out there to steal and scam money from anyone they can. Get a little knowledge on how things work and it’s easy to shrink the victim pool.
Here are the other scams I have recorded and played with. As long as they waste time with me they are not succeeding with someone else.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.