The phone message Ganga Harris received on her answering machine the other day was strange; a man with a foreign accent claimed to be calling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington D.C. with information regarding a tax fraud situation with Harris’ account.
“He said, ‘we are dealing with this tax fraud situation and we want to help you out before the sheriff issues you a warrant,’” Harris recounted.
The man, who told Harris that his name was Sean, left his number, 866-978-0513, and asked her to call him back as soon as possible. Suspicious from the beginning, Harris visited the IRS website and found that the IRS had issued a warning to taxpayers about a pervasive telephone scam going around all over the country.
“I went to IRS.gov and saw a side bar about a telephone scam going around and it was exactly like the call I got,” Harris said.
According to the IRS website, some common characteristics of the scam include:
-Fake names and IRS badge numbers. Scammers generally use common names and surnames.
-Background noises that mimic a call site.
-Threatening jail time or revocation of a driver’s license. They will sometimes call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV.
Thankfully, Harris realized it was a scam and called the man back, ultimately making him so flustered that he had to hang up.
“I told him that he was lucky that he was talking to me over the phone,” she said.