Surprise! Scammers Tried To Cash In On The Shutdown
The longest government shutdown in history is certainly wreaking havoc with taxpayers.
However it was a big fat window of opportunity for scammers. Yes, what a surprise. And they didn’t miss a beat.
Hopefully, most of you who read my blogs and articles are aware of the endless number of scams that come through via phone and email and do not fall for them. Unfortunately there are still some who get caught and end up losing money and very possibly their identities to the criminals.
According to CNBC, about 5 million robocalls are made each month.
They also reported on two prominent robocall scams that hit the phones almost immediately after the shutdown began. The scammers are getting more sophisticated too. They hire American voice over talents to record their messages which makes them sound more convincing than someone speaking broken English. Imagine picking up your messages and hearing one of the following messages:
“I have an important update regarding your IRS tax debt. The recent government shutdown is affecting your standing with the IRS and although some IRS operations are down, billing and collections remain active. So give me a call back at this number…”
“I was actually calling because in lieu of the government shutdown, backed federal taxes are now being dismissed at just an unstoppable rate. We can take advantage of the situation and help you clear out not just your federal back taxes but also some state tax issues you might be facing. When you get this message please give me a call back,”
More and more people are getting apps that block robocalls, and that’s a good thing.
But for the many who don’t, a small percentage of people will get duped. The best bit of advice is never to answer calls from numbers you don’t know. And, if you get a message that sounds like it could be from the IRS, just hang up.
The IRS DOES NOT CALL TAXPAYERS.
They communicate via snail mail first and ask you to call them. Best of all, just hire an attorney to deal with the IRS if you have outstanding issues.