Brett Doubikin, a 43 year-old Morrow County contractor, received a phone message informing him that the IRS was investigating him. Fear made him return the call while he tried to remember if he missed something when he filed his taxes.
What Doubikin later realized is that the call was part of a sophisticated phone scam involving fake IRS employees who present fraudulent claims in order to get money from people with little or no tax knowledge. The charlatans posing as IRS employees are known to threaten people with either jail or deportation if these victims fail to deliver the declared debt amount. Part of these scammers’ scheme was to inform victims that their taxes were not paid, which must hence be settled through wire transfer or by using a pre-paid debit card. To make things appear legitimate, the callers use false IRS badge numbers, acquire the last four digits in the Social Security numbers of target victims, utilize technology that labels caller IDs as the IRS, and make follow-up calls as well as bogus emails.
The IRS has officially stated that this intricately structured phone scam was often directed at immigrants. A nationwide alert about the scam was already issued last fall by the IRS.
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