While working in the law library I took a call from a very distraught, special client. I am married to this client. She just got off a call from the IRS saying there was: a secret audit, a large sum of money owed ($5,600), two letters sent which she ignored, a “red line warrant” for her arrest, and an order she will be imprisoned in Alaska after her trial. She wanted me home immediately to explain why this happened.
USA Area Code Is Meaningless
Anytime a client experiences such a scam collection call the first thing they report is that the phone number was from an area code in the United States. That means nothing. with the advent of VOIP calling it is simple to obtain a number in any area code in the free world. I can get one from Google Voice or Skype in seconds. When you get a cell phone you can choose any area code for your number. My wife’s call was from a Brooklyn, NY number. The IRS has an enforcement office in Brooklyn. I expect they have telephones there, but they don’t take calls. I have had other clients say the call came from an Atlanta area code. The fact that the area code is assigned in the United States does not make the call legit. It just adds to the the possibility in your mind they may be the real deal.
IRS Collection Scam Is Scary
She knew the whole time the call was a scam. It made her very angry and a little afraid. She wants them reported to the IRS. The problem is, “who do I report them to?” This is certainly an offshore collection scam. The IRS does not make collection calls. They do everything in writing, by letter. If you owe them money and ignore them they will take it from your accounts. They won’t warn you with a call first.
Keep Your Bank Information To Yourself
Don’t fall for this collection scam. Never give anyone who calls threatening you access to your bank account or credit card numbers. You won’t be arrested if you do not pay. The come on is quite convincing. They press all the right buttons to persuade you to abandon common sense. Keep your account numbers to yourself. Everyone wants them.
Anywhere But Alaska
Alaska is at the top of the map. Alaska is remote. It is far away. It is cold. Unless you are an outdoor person, it is an inconvenient place to have to go. In America there are no debtors’ prisons (any more). There are not even debtors’ prisons in Alaska. I spent years as a criminal defense trial attorney. Before that I was a prosecutor. I’ve never heard of a red line warrant.
They Called The Wrong Number
Another suspicious point, my wife and I file jointly. My name is always first on the tax return. My daytime telephone number is always entered and appears at the bottom of page 2 of Form 1040. My number is the contact number if the IRS has any concerns. The IRS tax collection scammer called my wife directly on her cell phone at a number never used for tax contact purposes. This is a big red flag to accompany the “red line” warrant.
You’ve Got Mail
No one wants to hear from the IRS. My business requires frequent mail from them for clients. Anytime I see a letter from the IRS with my name on it my heart skips a beat. I understand your fear of hearing from government tax collectors. We all hear the horror stories. If you owe the government money, you have time to take a breath and request written confirmation of the obligation. They will not refuse to send it. Remember, the real IRS won’t be on the other end of the call when you are making the debit payment to them over the phone.
IRS Collection Scam Visits The Credit Union
In case you think this is a unique experience, read on. Yesterday a teller at my credit union took a call from the IRS on her iPhone. Unlike my wife they didn’t tell her she was going to Alaska. They did, however, tell her that they have a warrant, and she will be arrested unless she pays no later than 10:00 am.
This is a person who is trained to spot scams to protect credit union members. The call rattled her. Americans live in fear of the IRS. The mere mention of the name makes many abandon common sense and do whatever is needed to make them to go away. Even place their hard earned money at risk. The teller was tempted to pay the caller. She was actually angry with me because I was in court at the time and she couldn’t come to ask me about it (the credit union and my office are in the same building).
Never Pay When The IRS Calls For Money
Have I mentioned the IRS never makes collection calls? It bears repeating. It’s important. If you receive a call and they say they are the IRS and they have a warrant, end the call. It’s a scam.