$15 million fake IRS scam: call centers in India come under the scanner

3,000 people cheated in the US.

By Raif Karerat

Courtesy of Youtube

WASHINGTON, DC: Fake IRS agents have targeted more than 366,000 people with aggressive, threatening phone calls demanding payments in the largest ever scam of its kind, federal investigators reported on Thursday.

More than 3,000 individuals have fallen prey to the hoax, in which the scammers intimidate their victims with the notion of serving jail time if their demands are not met. According to Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration, the con artists have gleaned a total of $15.5 million from their unwitting marks. One victim reportedly lost more than $500,000.

The Associated Press reported the scam is so far-reaching investigators believe multiple cells may be involved, including some overseas.

“These criminal acts are perpetrated by thieves hiding behind telephone lines and computers, preying on honest taxpayers and robbing the Treasury of tens of billions of dollars every year,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “Taxpayers must be more aware of the risks and better protected from attack and these criminals must be found and brought to justice.”

Two suspects in Florida have been arrested to date, said Camus. They stand accused of being involved in with Indian call centers that were contacting U.S. taxpayers and impersonating IRS agents.

“Given the sophistication of this criminal activity and the fact that a lot of it comes from overseas, this looks to me like an emerging type of organized crime,” stated Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top-ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.

As part of the widespread racket, fake IRS agents call taxpayers, claim they owe taxes, and demand payment using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Those who refuse are presented with the notion of jail time, deportation, or the loss of a business or driver’s license. The lawbreakers can manipulate caller ID to make it appear as if they are calling from an IRS number, and may even know the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number.

“The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere, of all income levels and backgrounds,” Camus declared during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

“Our message is simple,” he continued. “If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you do not pay immediately, it is a scam artist calling. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone. If you do owe money to the IRS, chances are you have already received some form of a notice or correspondence from the IRS in your mailbox.”

Similar scams have also targeted professionals on H1-B visas, especially, with fake agents claiming to be from the Department of Homeland Security demanding money to fix paperwork. The victims are threatened with deportation if they don’t comply with the demands.

The American Bazaar has reported on these scams, and they can be read here:

H-1B visa holder? A call from 911? Beware!

Got a call from the IRS threatening arrest, jail time? It’s a scam

 

24 Comments

  1. there are many in malad as well,at 6th,3rd and 5th floor in prestige industrial estate,orlem marve road,malad mumbai and also at borivali behind metro mall in a western edge p2 building right behind metro mall,my cousin works there

  2. These scumbags called me on on a Saturday morning. I told them they were scammers and the dot head got nasty with me. Pieces of shit.

  3. nitesh gupta

    Hi I am an Indian and I am ashamed of what some people has done in US or UK. I want to share that if some one has deposited money in western union then it is not refundable but wire transfer is refundable till a period of 6 months. Plz contact your bank. And reports these matters to police even if it a case of one dollar.
    And if anybody wants any help plz contact me on my mail id.
    I would love to help you.
    Nitesh Gupta
    Indian

  4. Jerry Howe

    You must remember the type of economic and living environment that these individuals exist in. It is not a charming, tree lined, shady lane with soccer and real estate moms . They want a tiny piece of what you have to improve their miserable lives

    • Mr.Meeseeks

      Our country had no tree lined shady lanes once.
      But we happen to like being clean and lawful, so we built a free and lawful country.
      Is it my fault people choose to sleep where they shit?

    • I hate scammers

      How about you give them all your money and invite them in your house if you feel so bad. These people scam from the mentally disabled and elderly. You’re a horrible person to make an excuse for them. Many people live in horrible conditions and they manage to not steal from people. You should be ashamed.

  5. Clarence Yafavoriteboyfirend S

    How do i get my money back

  6. typical Indian conmen, they love to steal

  7. Same thing happening here in Canada. Just a bunch or East Indian/Pakistani morons too stupid to find a real job so they decide to bilk hard working people, in North America, out of their money. They’re just trying to find something they may be good at, can’t drive taxis all their lives.

  8. Chris Nicholais

    BTW the IRS WILL NEVER CALL YOU OUT OF THE BLUE! They will always send you a letter if not certified. Maybe if you have an ongoing case with them they may call but by then you know what is going on.

    • there are many in malad as well,at 6th,3rd and 5th floor in prestige industrial estate,orlem marve road,malad mumbai and also at borivali behind metro mall in a western edge p2 building right behind metro mall,my cousin works there…

  9. Chris Nicholais

    I’ve received this call from the same EXACT either indian or jamaican accented person, saying if I don’t call with my attorney all they can do is wish my good luck as the situation will fall bad on me, LOL, like their stupid broken ass english is so bad! They have called a little over a month apart from 2 different number, one in Virginia Beach 804-724-5102 and New York, 518-650-1982. When I recognized the voice I immediately called back and told them they are NOT the IRS and I would report their numbers. She mumbled something an hung up on me. I dont know how they do it but they block my number or something as I can never call back, it either beeps or verizon says call can’t be completed. These people are fucking scumbags.

    • there are many in malad as well,at 6th,3rd and 5th floor in prestige industrial estate,orlem marve road,malad mumbai and also at borivali behind metro mall in a western edge p2 building right behind metro mall,my cousin works there..report to ploice..details are exact

  10. I received a call today from a number with the area code 202…is this one of the scams? I was unaware that the U.S would hire someone who can barely speak English

  11. disqustang

    “…multiple cells may be involved, including some overseas”
    No shit, Sherlock. These nan-eaters can barely speak English. They are either Indian or Pakistani. Pathetic that law enforcement can’t arrest them. Love to curry their gonads.

    • Jerry Howe

      Tandoori gonads sound better with a sliced fresh onion and tomato garnish. Yum !

    • there are many in malad as well,at 6th,3rd and 5th floor in prestige industrial estate,orlem marve road,malad mumbai and also at borivali behind metro mall in a western edge p2 building right behind metro mall

  12. Edwin Flynn

    Good thing you brought this up. Caller ID service is indeed susceptible to fraud. This article https://www.callercenter.com/blg/articles/spoofing-caller-ids/ reveals how callers are able to fake the telephone number and/or name displayed as the caller
    information to disguise the identity of the calling party. So be skeptical when
    answering phone calls. We can’t rely on caller IDs anymore. If the call is
    suspicious, don’t engage and simply hang up.

    • there are many in malad as well,at 6th,3rd and 5th floor in prestige industrial estate,orlem marve road,malad mumbai and also at borivali behind metro mall in a western edge p2 building right behind metro mall in mumbai

      • Just see Shivam. People cursing our country and all I can do is hang my head in shame. Just for a few greedy scumbags in our country we all are facing this name calling. this is why no companies trust Indians. I have seen one such call centre myself. When I had gone for the interview I did not know the nature of their work. When I was rejected I felt real bad. Now I am glad. Hope police takes strict actions. We need a real image makeover or in the global village it is all of us Indians who will suffer.

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