Monday, October 26, 2015

The IRS...oh no

We do not necessarily rush to pick up phone calls.  So many are nuisance calls, even though we are on the "no call" list supposedly.  That means periodically picking up calls on the message machine, but even with that we are not particularly diligent.

Late this afternoon the message machine was checked after not being looked at for three days.  The first two messages were from the IRS, saying that they had filed a lawsuit against yours truly and that I was required to call the IRS immediately.  Each phone recording was the same voice, but they left two different numbers to reach the IRS.  This did not sound right in any way, yet just those three letters, IRS, were discomforting.  Walking into the kitchen to fix dinner, I paused, turned around, picked up a phone and called our accountant.  Thinking about this at all was not something that was needed, and is just the type of thought that can enter my mind when my goal is to go to sleep.

He laughed when he picked up the phone as I explained that while this was likely a scam, I was relieved to find him in his office.  He said, "you too."  When I mentioned that this seems like a trick to find out information like a social security number, he said that usually it will be an effort to get someone to get out a credit card immediately and pay the "IRS".  Remember the old MRS trick, which is now why we pay the United States Treasury.

It certainly could be many things, like the phone number is in Nigeria or some remote place, and returning the call would cost a fortune.  Who knows, but the scam artists who say that our credit is past due or our auto insurance bill needs to be paid now can be easily disregarded.  Mention the IRS and it is attention getting.  Impersonating a government agency must be a federal crime, which means that the calls are certainly coming from offshore.

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