Londonderry Resident Almost Victim of IRS Scam Call

Richard Cole recently received a rather shocking phone call from the IRS that his tax filings were about to expire and he was at risk of being put under custody.

Only one problem: the call was a complete scam.  Cole, who received the call late last month, has never had any issues with the IRS in the past.  Although he is on disability due to an amputated foot and is self-employed, he has worked with an accountant for years and noted that he knows better than to manipulate the IRS.

Thankfully, Cole was able to quickly identify the call as a scam due to it being automated, the dead-pan, jittery delivery of the “caller” being a dead giveaway.

Unfortunately, Cole is just the latest in a long series of victims of IRS scam calls, a theft technique that has the caller disguise themselves as an IRS agent who is threatening to seek legal action against their victim in order to gain access to their personal and financial information and rob them blind.

The IRS has become very aware of the threat these scams pose to the public in recent years and, according to their official website, are quick to state that they do not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text messages or social media channels as a means of requesting personal information. They also say that they do not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action.

The IRS currently has been pushing its list of the most common tax scams, titled the “Dirty Dozen”, for the last couple of years in order to familiarize the public with other ways that criminals may try to rob them or scam the IRS. These include phishing, or utilizing fake emails and websites, phone scams, identity theft, unscrupulous return preparers, fake charities, promises of inflated tax refunds, claims of access to business credits, falsely padding return deductions, falsifying income, abusing tax shelters, frivolous tax arguments and offshore tax avoidance.

On top of all these scamming opportunities, the IRS revealed the scammers have also been targeting immigrants with limited English proficiency in their native language, threatening them with deportation and arrest. They have also targeted deaf and hard of hearing individuals with video relay services, which the IRS encourages citizens not to trust.

These crimes seem to be on the rise, as there was an approximate 400 percent surge in email scams during the 2016 tax season.

All residents are advised to seek out tax professionals whenever handling these matters and to visit for more information on either tax scams or how to safely file them.

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