I’m going to ignore this but I doubt I’ll be carted off in handcuffs

cliparti1_handcuffs-clipart_03I’ve warned you all in the past about these phone calls that you may receive from time to time. Of course there are the “faux Microsoft gurus” who call you to let you know they zenned a problem with your computer and for a modest fee they’ll be happy to fix that for you, just let them have your credit card number.

This one I’ve also mentioned — the IRS or some other government agency has us quaking in our booties because of (*cue dramatic music*) a pending ENFORCEMENT ACTION. Duh duh duuuuuuuuh.

Below is a transcription from our phone service voice mail so please ignore the sometimes odd phrasing (YOU WATCH YOUR PHRASEOLOGY!). In a nutshell, Kevin is threatening me because something something intentional something something MAGISTRATE JUDGE something something GRAND JURY!!! And the maraschino cherry on top of my hot fudge sundae? Yes. A (duh duh duuuuhhhh) FEDERAL CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

“Hi my name is Kevin Mason and this message is intended to contact you regarding an enforcement action. If you could-advise(?) the United States treasury and tending you serious attention. Ignoring this will be an intentional second the 10th to avoid initial appearance before magistrate judge or a grand jury for federal criminal offense. My number is 510-779-6229 I repeat it’s 510-779-6229. I’d like you to cooperate with us and help us to help you. Thank you. Hi my name is Kevin Mason and this message is intended to contact you regarding an enforcement action executed by the United States.”

The IRS site has plenty of information about these scams.http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts And, honestly? The IRS isn’t all that scary and they actually work pretty well with you, I hear. So if you are ever in any doubt, just go up to their website. It’s okay. They’re the government and they’re here to help.

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.

If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.