Weekly Stories from You: IRS Scammers Target Virginia Family

Christina Tetreault
Staff Attorney

Monday, February 29th, 2016

IMG_0395It’s tax season. Or should we say, tax scam season? This week, we’re featuring a story from a Virginia family that  very nearly got taken by the IRS imposter scam.

If you’re not familiar with the IRS imposter scam, it’s when a caller attempts to collect a nonexistent tax debt by pretending to be an IRS employee. The fraudster threatens the caller with all sorts of negative outcomes if they don’t pay up. The scammers making these calls are so relentless, so persuasive, that Americans have lost many millions to this scam. Fortunately, this week’s story sharers did not lose any money, but John and Mary Jean are sharing their story so that no one else gets victimized.

John, his wife Mary Jean, and their six children live in Virginia. This is their story:

Mary Jean was bombarded with calls today with the latest scam claiming it was the IRS and we owe money, and you better have your bank card ready, and don’t hang up yada yada yada.

Fortunately, she had all the right responses (well, without the more colorful language I’d prefer to use), but it certainly shook her up a bit – very persistent they were.

And they tried calling back again and again and again.

It was pretty textbook scam. Not much different than what the IRS posts may happen on its warning page – even one of the phone numbers was the same. Mary Jean was smart enough to look up the number on the Internet while the guy was on the line, and found it was associated with phishing. I guess many people have fallen for it.

They’re very aggressive. One interesting thing is the guy didn’t have any other identifying information on MJ than calling her Mary. When she asked him what her address is he balked, and said that’s confidential…

So I just thought I’d get the word out. Especially let more vulnerable people you might know, such as elderly relatives, etc. to be on guard. The IRS website has more information:


We’re glad that John and Mary Jean didn’t lose any money. We have tips here so that you too can avoid falling victim to the IRS imposter scam.

Are you fed up with robocalls? Then join with the more than 600,000 consumers who have joined together to get the phone companies to offer free, effective tools to End Robocalls. Join the movement here.


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