No, it’s NOT the IRS calling. Beware of scam callers like these

With the tax deadline just weeks away, the pace of scam calls is picking up. Two to warn you about:

REPORTED TO POLICE: According to a report filed with Seattle Police, early last Thursday morning, someone in the Admiral area reported getting scammed by a caller claiming to be from the IRS and “coerc(ing) her into purchasing Re-Load It cards and giving (the caller) the number over the phone. The suspect said this was to stop legal action for unpaid back taxes. (The victim) said she realized it was a scam after talking with her adult son. She immediately called the card company but was unable to stop the payment.”

READER REPORT: From Garry in Westwood, who recently found this voicemail via his land-line phone:

“Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service … the reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you to get more information about this case file. Please call immediately on our department number 360-362-4719. I repeat 360-362-4719. Thank you.”

I looked up the phone number on the web and it has numerous complaints relating to a variety of scams associated with government agencies and law enforcement, all with a similar “urgent” message. Wanted to pass this on to let others in West Seattle know they might be getting the same type of phone message.

HOW TO REPORT A SCAM, OR VERIFY A CALL: Lots of good info on this IRS webpage.

40 Replies to "No, it's NOT the IRS calling. Beware of scam callers like these"

  • AnotherNerd February 15, 2015 (9:50 pm)

    Yup, they have tried to scam us a couple times “Julie Smith” was one supposed contact name, can’t remember the other. The IRS will never call you to begin legal action. I thought they were pretty obviously scammers, but I probably should have a chat with my mom to remind her.

  • K'lo February 15, 2015 (9:55 pm)

    I received this call about a month ago. Fortunately, I am of an age that I don’t believe these “threatening” calls. However, I am concerned about those that tend to take these calls seriously. I hope as word gets around about this scam, children and or care takers of the vulnerable step up to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of. It can ruin not only the lives of the victim, but also their families. The best way to shut down these criminals is to talk to those we support about these kinds of issues and how to prevent them.

  • G February 15, 2015 (10:22 pm)

    Scammers trying to capitalize on the stresses of the tax season. I got the same phone call. Sorry that someone got scammed. What scum.

  • ANGELIQUE McClellan February 15, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    I get this number calling me everyday at least 5 times a day. I don’t answer because the caller id has a bunch of weird numbers above the phone number. And my bank alerted me of it being a scam..
    Thank you for the update and information.

    The McClellan Family

  • Jody February 15, 2015 (10:44 pm)

    This scam call, called my work office twice in one day. I am surprised they are getting away with this. I did post it on scam alert website when you search the number that called. Although the second scam call, on the caller i.d. said “pay phone”

  • Heidi A February 15, 2015 (11:05 pm)

    I am a tax attorney –
    The IRS does NOT contact you by phone. if you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS, it’s a scam.

  • Michelle February 15, 2015 (11:10 pm)

    I got this call too. They claim they sent a certified letter and then threaten to have you arrested by city and federal officers for ignoring their letter. They really try to scare you. Since they can recite a lot of personal info, they can sound very convincing.
    .
    As an FYI, if they are calling your cell, call your provider and they can help you figure out if you can block the calls. If so, they’ll walk you thru the process. I had to do that since they called me over 15 times in the span of 10 minutes after the initial call.

  • JanS February 15, 2015 (11:58 pm)

    what Heidi A said. If the IRS wants to contact you, they will do it by mail.

  • Bradley February 16, 2015 (2:42 am)

    We got this call about 2 months ago and the fake IRS agent left a message on our answering machine threatening my wife and I with jail time. I called back and had some fun with the “agent”.

  • Bree February 16, 2015 (4:44 am)

    We also received this call a few days ago on our business line with a 206 #. We still have it in our message system if someone needs it. We did not call back as knew it was a scam. They said they had been trying to get ahold of us and if we did not call back, a lawsuit would be filed against us. We did not call back as knew it was a scam.

  • sophista-tiki February 16, 2015 (5:25 am)

    I got the IRS scam call a couple of months ago. message left on the land line answering machine. I just ignored it. people would know weather or not they owed back taxes.

  • Rachel February 16, 2015 (5:52 am)

    We received the same scam call twice over a different time period. The 1st time we picked up…the caller (w/very bad English) threatened that we would be hearing a knock on the door with a summons shortly if we didn’t pay up. It became clear it was a scam quickly. 2nd time they left a detailed message with a similar tone which we happily deleted. Scum of the earth.

  • Ray West February 16, 2015 (5:59 am)

    I haven’t gotten the IRS scam calls, but the past few weeks I have been getting numerous calls regarding my computer. Callers with a thick accent (could be from North Africa or India) telling me that they have received indicators from my computer that it is “infected” with a virus. They try to sound as if they are with whatever software company you have on your computer, but are rather vague. They want to log in remotely and gain access to your computer. Once they do, they will have all your info, and can also upload malware and spyware. They will also want your credit card number so they can “fix” the problem for you and/or try to sell you an anti-virus program that is fake or is one that can be downloaded for free. Please be aware that this is a total scam and hang up. If you have any concerns about your computer, take it to a reputable repair service, preferably one you’ve done business with before.

  • Meghan February 16, 2015 (7:02 am)

    I got the Julie Smith call today! Such a relief to find this page and know it’s a scam.
    Thank You!

  • sc February 16, 2015 (8:10 am)

    My mother, who lives in the North end, also got this call. She said they appear to speak poor English but she just tells them she is calling the police and they hang up.

    She called me last night to say that she got a call which showed the caller ID to be “Jesus Christ” and for $250 they can send her info to be “saved”!
    I guess the “IRS” call is wearing thin!

  • Ivan February 16, 2015 (10:07 am)

    I got a call like that from the “IRS.” I told the guy GFY, which stands for something other than “Good For You.”

  • david dunbar February 16, 2015 (10:36 am)

    got something like this a few weeks ago.Did some investigating and found the call was from a pay phone at a minimart in Arleta , ca. # was 818 890 6843

  • susan February 16, 2015 (11:02 am)

    Yes, I too received this call last week and checked it out via internet. Morgan Junction.

  • LyndaB February 16, 2015 (12:01 pm)

    We got a message on our phone as well from the supposed IRS. Total scum!

    • WSB February 16, 2015 (1:05 pm)

      I’m going through more police reports and have another one tax-related … the Social Security # ID theft issue; the victim started doing her taxes and discovered via Turbo Tax that someone already had turned in a return with that number. Radar up for the whole tax season!

  • MAO February 16, 2015 (2:31 pm)

    I received 2 scam IRS calls last Friday that left voice mail messages. Called IRS and they asked I contact Treasury.gov to report. Treasury has a special office working on scams like this and there is a form you can fill out on line with the information. Once at Treasury.gov go to: Report Suspected IRS Impersonation Scams. Doubt it will stop anything but it felt good to at least report it.

  • Simoleon82 February 16, 2015 (5:24 pm)

    I had a telemarketer call repeatedly recently…I went ahead and continually called them back until they were sick of me. Needless to say in less than 24 hrs the number was disconnected and they haven’t called since.

  • AHtaxpayers February 16, 2015 (7:20 pm)

    We have been called dozens of times on this IRS scam. If it weren’t a dangerous thing for elderly folks who may be taken in, it would be hilarious, thick Indian accent and parts of indecipherable threats. Filled up our voicemail several times. We have taken the (considerable) time submitting the info into the govt scam reporting website, but it does not even slow them down.

  • Mike February 16, 2015 (11:35 pm)

    If you want to have fun with them, speak Spanish and then scream incredibly loud into the phone. If they’re going to annoy you, make them annoyed too. You could always use the “I see dead people, do you see them too?” line, that sorta freaks them out.

  • Ray West February 17, 2015 (5:59 am)

    Mike, nothing seems to stop them. I have literally screamed F*** You!!! F*** You!!! F*** You!!! until they hang up, but a few days later, it’s another caller with the same spiel. I’m sure these people use an automated calling system that just repeatedly dials phone numbers. It’s maddening.

  • Sandal41 February 17, 2015 (8:04 am)

    I Had the “we need to fix your computer from threatening virus” yesterday. Came from a strange # and the guy had a strong accent, they were relentless in calling my # daily.

  • banshee February 17, 2015 (9:25 am)

    I received several phone calls from clear water FL (727) 402-5617, “Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service … the reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you to get more information about this case file. Please call immediately on our department number 206-855-5833. My cell phone # they reached is a 360 area code.

  • Laura February 17, 2015 (9:50 am)

    I have not gotten the call, but I am hoping I do, and I hope I get a ‘live’ person, to toy with. WHY??? – two goals: 1) for 10 minutes act dumb (yes some acting will be involved), have some fun messing with their minds somehow and 2) tie them up so they do not truly scam anyone for real?

    Hmmm… it could take some clever wording to make sure in the end they know I was toying with them… do not want to get even more calls! Do not want them to be so mad, they figure out another way to abuse me :) … Do not want to be added to some vulnerability list, get-your-money-here list, etc….

    I had a friend that was very clever in handling a scam call regarding his PC. It was highly amusing, and he posted how the phone call went.

    Ok, back to doing my taxes :)

  • Lisa February 17, 2015 (11:09 am)

    213-437-6202 coming from Los Angeles,California these people said the same thing to me. Be aware this is a scam. Do NOT give out any info or money . Thanks ! Lisa

  • Emad February 17, 2015 (2:31 pm)

    I got a call this morning on my cell from some one stating that he was from IRS regarding illegal criminal activities that was done from 2008 to 2011 for filling my taxes less that the money I had earned and that they had sent me a certified letter regarding the matter and as a result for not responding my bank accounts as well as my credit card and every pay check will froze until the matter is resolved. Also it could result in paying a fine up to 100.000 and time in jail. It really scared me I almost got a heart attack. Thanks to all comments it was a relief. the number that called me was 201-605-6840.

  • Cara February 18, 2015 (5:26 am)

    I got the Officer Julie Smith from the IRS call this morning at around 7:38. The voice animated person said that this was time sensitive and to call as soon as you received this with your retained attorney. She said at the end “Do not disregard this call” lol. She left this number to call 530-710-1929 from Redding CA. Glad this was available to find that others have had the same problem.

  • Patrick February 18, 2015 (9:46 am)

    report these incidents here: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

    Hopefully the author will include the report process in the post.

    • WSB February 18, 2015 (10:12 am)

      If you mean us – it’s already there. We pointed from the start to an IRS page where you can find out more about scams AND report them. – Tracy

  • Mark February 18, 2015 (11:03 am)

    Ignored the IRS calls but this morning they called and now claim they are The Treasury Dept. Reverse directory for call back number says number is listed as being in Compton,CA. The IRS call back number they left was in Des Moines, WA. I have filed a complaint with the Tresury Dept. They will have a foreign accent with an American name and sometimes end their call by saying God Bless you.

  • Marie February 18, 2015 (2:05 pm)

    So if you call them back can they get your credit card info through your phone somehow while your talking to them? I’ve heard of that happening

  • AJ February 18, 2015 (5:29 pm)

    No Marie, they can’t. The most they can get is your name from either your answering machine, and/or your address from a phonebook, online directories or a Google search if you have it listed elsewhere. Otherwise they just know you’re in Seattle if you’re 206.

  • Lee February 19, 2015 (10:05 pm)

    I just got this call yesterday! Same automated/computerized voice, same script as Garry in the article. I knew it was a scam also, so did not call back. I’ll report it. Thanks for the information. Hopefully,word will get out to our more vulnerable neighbors.

  • tery February 23, 2015 (12:33 pm)

    I got called 4 times and finally on the fourth call, I answered. A man with a heavy accent said he was an officer from the IRS and I was going to be sued by the IRS for not filing the correct amount for my earnings. I am retired, so I knew it was a scam, when I said I thought they were trying to scam me, they hung up.

  • Lynn February 25, 2015 (2:16 pm)

    They have called us in Arkansas a couple of times. Same story..the IRS is going to sue you. The number they called from was 283-304-000. I checked the area code and it is from Cape Verde, Africa. The number they said we needed to call was 206-855-5833 somewhere in WA. I know the IRS would never do this. They would certainly send us a letter and not a leave a message on my phone. And eventually they would show up at your front door, badge and all.

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