Weekly Stories from You: Darlene’s Community Is Beset with Robocall Scammers

Christina Tetreault
Staff Attorney

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Taxes were due last week, but that’s not stopping robocalling scammers from trotting out the IRS scam. We’ve warned you about this one: in the IRS scam, a robocaller pretends to be from the IRS demanding that you pay “back taxes” now or something really bad will happen.

Darlene from Wisconsin has gotten her share of IRS scam calls, as have her neighbors:

The authoritative female voice on my message machine informed me in perfect English that the IRS were going to send federal agents to arrest me for unpaid taxes unless I called immediately a number that she gave.  I knew this was a scam but I placed the call to get more information.  There was no answer.  I reported the incident to the proper authorities but they are powerless to catch the scammers.  It seems to me that the scammers are going after people with foreign-sounding names, like mine, because my daughter was approached, too, and several newly arrived immigrants in my community.  One of them paid $4,000!  This is unconscionable.

While we don’t recommend that folks ever engage with scammers, the most important thing to remember is that if you do owe money to the legit IRS, the first time you hear about it won’t be a phone call demanding payment. (You can see the rest of our tips to avoid being a victim of the IRS scam here.)

spoofingThe IRS imposter scam calls are so scary, the imposters so persistent that Americans have lost approximately $29 million to them. And what’s worse is that the IRS scam isn’t the only robocall scam out there.

Every week, we get stories from consumers who’ve been hounded by robocalling scammers who ignore the Do Not Call List and can’t be stopped by law enforcement. We think there is a solution, that these scammers can be stopped before they reach us and our vulnerable neighbors using technology that exists today. That’s why we and hundreds of thousands of others have joined together to demand that the phone companies provide their customers with free, effective tools to block robocalls. Join with us today!


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