IRS Scammers Finally Hit Where It Hurts, Those Caught Will Face 20 Years In Prison


If you own a phone and use the internet, it’s likely you’ve been the target of scamming. Some scams are easier to spot, and some are more difficult.

One of the most cruel types of fraud is when someone calls claiming to be from the IRS, telling you that you owe money or there will be consequences.

If you’re an upstanding citizen — or perhaps even moreso if you’re not — the thought of arrest is terrifying. Unfortunately, this sort of swindling happens often to the elderly, and can easily drain their accounts.

Savvier individuals set their phones to block scams and know what the characteristics of a suspicious message are, but not everyone is so observant.

While the people on the other end of the line may seem to brazenly get away with their evil deeds, 21 con artists are now serving time for their participation in these IRS scams.

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Last week, a judge in Texas gave the sentence. The 21 at fault were residents of eight states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Texas.

They had been involved in a scam based in India, using call centers there to reach out to victims and threaten arrest or deportation if their demands were not met.

Despite the warning signs, the group managed to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from fearful and well-meaning residents. Now, the criminals could spend 20 years in jail.

“Their cruel tactics preyed on some very vulnerable people, thereby stealing millions from them,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick said.

“These sentences should send a strong message that we will follow the trail no matter how difficult and seek justice for those victimized by these types of transnational schemes.”

Despite this crackdown, the frauds will continue. The IRS has actually helped prevent people from losing over $8 billion to fraud in 2015 alone and has posted some rules of thumb to follow when trying to determine if a contact is legitimate or not.

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First of all, the IRS will always send letters first if you have outstanding debt. They won’t initiate contact by phone first, they won’t ask you to give them sensitive information over the phone, and they won’t threaten arrest.

“IRS impersonation telephone calls – as well as other types of unwanted calls (e.g., telemarketing robocalls, fake grants, tech support, sweepstakes winnings, etc.) remain popular scams,” the IRS states on its website.” Blocking these types of calls is one strategy taxpayers should consider.”

“For any fraudulent call, after listening to the message, do not provide any information and hang up,” they continue. They also suggest you take down some specific information if you suspect the call was a scam.

Make sure to ask the person on the line for their name and their employee badge number, which they’ll have if they’re a real IRS employee. Then, record the number that called you as well as the number they told you to call.

The more details you can include — your location and time zone, the exact time they called, and what their message was — the better. You can submit these details to the IRS and they’ll take it from there.

It’s a dangerous world out there. Don’t let someone con you out of your hard-earned money!

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