I almost fell for an IRS scam yesterday

by VegetableMacaroon

I got a call from a Washington, D.C. number yesterday with an automated message telling me it was the “Criminal Investigation Division” of the IRS, and to call them back immediately.

I did. Got on the phone with an Indian sounding man who told me his name was Matt Smith, or some generic sounding American name. He told me there was a warrant out for my arrest because I fraudulently claimed some tax exemptions over the past three years.

I wasn’t thinking straight because I’m in the process of buying a house, and my credit is really important. It sounded convincing until he asked me to pay.

He said there were two ways it could be handled, either “privately or publicly.” I could either pay the debt now and it wouldn’t be reported to any credit agencies, or I could do it publicly, in which case the debt would be reported to the police and local news outlets.

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He told me all my assets had been frozen and my bank accounts were “black listed.” It didn’t seem like a term an IRS agent would use, but whatever. Then he told me since my accounts were frozen, the only way I could pay the debt was with gift cards from the grocery store, and that I needed to stay on the line with him the entire time until I got the cards. WTF? How am I going to buy gift cards if my bank account has been frozen? Do you think I just have $3,000 in cash on me right now?

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That’s when it clicked. This is bullshit. I lived in DC for a few years and I know the area. I started asking him how he gets to work, what neighborhood he lives in, what Metro stop he gets off at, etc.

He just hung up on me and when I tried to call back it just kept coming up as a busy signal.

I’m laughing about it now, but I was shitting bricks on the phone yesterday. I’m an educated, moderately intelligent person, and he had me going. They probably trick elderly people with this scam all the time.

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