Fake IRS Agents Arrested in India! How to Protect Yourself From Future Scams
This fall, police in India made arrests of 70 individuals for allegedly posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents in order to steal money from United States citizens. The Indian authorities have also stated that they are also investigating over 600 more individuals for similar fraudulent activity. These individuals allegedly called residents in the United States and claimed that the taxpayers owed back taxes to the IRS. In some cases, these call agents threatened the victims with arrest, or a lawsuit if payment was not made. The authorities estimate that $150,000 was being made each day during the scheme when frightened Americans fell for the scam and that there were likely individuals inside the US assisting with the scam. Call centers were found in Mumbai, India and an estimated $15 million has been lost by victims.
Here are some helpful things to remember to protect yourself from future scams:
- The IRS will NEVER call you by phone and demand money. If you have a tax bill owed to the IRS, they will always contact you by mail first.
- The IRS will not threaten an immediate lawsuit to settle a dispute. There is a lengthy process for those who owe money to the IRS. And, the IRS always offers an option for appeal, so an immediate lawsuit, or arrest is never threatened.
- The IRS will not specify a required payment method (including prepaid gift or debit card or wire transfer). These payment options should be an immediate red flag of a scam. The IRS will also not ask you for a credit card number over the phone. Do NOT provide any type of payment no matter the threat. If you are concerned, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to confirm your tax status.
- Do not engage with the person on the phone. If a person claims to be from the IRS but you think it is a scam, get off the phone as soon as possible (hang up even if you are being asked questions) and do not provide any personal information.
- If you receive a threatening voicemail message claiming to be from the IRS, do not return the call.
- Stay alert and vigilant and report potential scams by calling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or log a complaint on their website.
Protect Yourself From Tax Scams
You can also contact a reputable tax attorney or tax relief company if you have questions about your current tax status. Success Tax Relief is a full service tax firm that serves individuals all over the country. Our team would be happy to confirm your current tax status directly with the IRS on your behalf so that you can be confident that you are in good standing. Success Tax Relief can help protect you against a scam of this kind. In addition, we offer audit support, tax preparation services and help for those who need to negotiate a payment plan with the IRS. Call our team at 1-877-825-1179 for more information. Stand strong against these scams! You can even contact us online.