Scammers are getting more brazen by the day. For a number of years they have been posing as the IRS and coaxing people into wiring money to them. They threaten arrests and prison time and unfortunately are very successful.
In a post from 2016 the IRS said they have seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.
"Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don't be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us.”
"There are many variations. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into making a payment,” Koskinen added. “Some schemes may say you're entitled to a huge refund. These all add up to trouble. Some simple tips can help protect you."
The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.
This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.
We touched on this problem in March when we wrote about the Eversource switching phone scam.
More recently, these fraudsters have shifted tactics – posing as police offices. This has become an in issue in Fairfield County, Connecticut, a stone’s throw from New York City.
Beware of phone scammers posing as DPD officers and “spoofing” the police department’s actual number. Legitimate agencies will never ask you to make a money wire transfer while on the phone. If something doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. Hang up and call us at 203.662.5300
— Darien Police (@DarienPD) June 13, 2019
The Darien, Connecticut police today alerted its residents via Twitter that phone scams are on the rise and scammers can spoof the police department’s phone number.
This spoofing is becoming more common and can be used to target businesses as well.
A worker in your company could be fooled by a person using spoofing to pose as a supplier, customer, tax collector, bank official or other trusted relationship.
Using this method, they can con your organization to wire money or divulge sensitive information, passwords or confidential information.
Workers need to be aware of phone spoofing and how it can affect your organization.
A new technology called Stir/Shaken should eventually eliminate this problem but for now the threat is very real and needs to be top of mind when the phone rings