If you’ve been looking in the right places, you’ve probably heard about the scammers pretending to be the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) calling people, and telling people they are going to jail, or worse.
The IRS may have the reputation of being full of heartless, blood-sucking, beasts with no soul. It doesn’t help that some of them have hidden behind the 5th Amendment. Nothing strikes terror into many people quite like knowing the IRS is coming after you. So these calls do evoke a panic-response in people pretty quickly.
Fortunately, you have nothing to free from these calls. While the IRS doesn’t have the most sterling reputation lately, they do have protocols before they go scorched-earth on your life. And those protocols absolutely do not include using a robotic voice to call you and say they are filing a lawsuit against you.
In case you haven’t gotten one, here’s a sample I recently received:
The next day I received an virtually identical call, same statement, same robotic voice, but using a different number.
Note the lack of detail. Note the robotic voice.
These callers are typically from India or other foreign countries. That’s why they use the robotic voice, since their native accents would give most of them away. Since they are foreign, they are out of reach of traditional law enforcement. So besides trying to warn people as much as possible, don’t expect the government to be able to do a lot to stop them. Except maybe shutdown the call back numbers as fast as possible. I received an almost identical call, using a different number, the day after I received this one.
This leaves the best line of offense against these call to be the We The People. Go get yourself a free Google Voice number, and use it to call these criminals back. Use fake names and everything, and give them the best run-around you can. Consider it a public service. Since while you are talking to the criminal, someone who falls for the trap can’t get in. If enough people call these people back, and crowd-sources Denial of Service attack against them, maybe we can drive them out of business. Or at least make them miserable.
Check back for an update, since I’m going to break one of my general rules – and call the telemarketer back. In this case, I think an exception is warranted.