Good news, the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the “first ever large-scale, multi-jurisdictional prosecution targeting scamming calling centers from India” were charged and plead guilty to fraud and money laundering scheme where they impersonated IRS officials ripping people off.
This is great news, not that it will stop the bad practice completely by scammers, but it certainly will put a dent in the number of scammers out there calling you every day posing as an IRS official.
This round of sentencing against individuals and call centers in India went against several individuals and 32 Indian based call centers. Twenty-two of the defendants were sentenced to 28 eight years in prison and ordered to pay victims 9 million dollars.
US v HGlobal Et al which is the case that was recently completed in Houston, Texas before Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas remarked, “This case represents one of the most significant victories to date in our continuing efforts to combat elder fraud and the victimization of the most vulnerable members of the U.S. public.”
These scammers would typically target the elderly and immigrants out of thousands. They would call with threats and financial schemes that the IRS will and law enforcement would be deployed if they didn’t settle the fake IRS penalty against them. The many victims that fell for the trap would agree to pay using value cards or wired money to the scammers.
If you have received a phone call from an IRS scammer, please call the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov or 800-366-4484. The IRS also offers free information here about this type of fraud here. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scamsconsumer-alerts
How do you spot an IRS Scammer?
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do, but the IRS will not do. Anyone of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.