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It’s tax time, but that’s not the IRS on the phone

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 12:01 am

This is a consumer advice column written by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. It appears Thursdays in Business.

Have you received a call from the IRS lately? We are receiving an influx of calls from people who are. It definitely is not normal for the IRS to call filers about late or non-payments of taxes, and neither has it started a new tradition of doing this. For inquiring minds, here are the latest IRS scam calls that are being reported to us:

“This is Amy from the Investigative Bureau of IRS calling. We have sent you numerous letters, and you have failed to respond to them.” The consumer who reported this call was very curious as to how Amy got his number, as his number was unlisted. He asked what address these letters were being sent to. She ignored his question and repeated in her very heavy, foreign accent that he had failed to respond to the numerous letters sent. Once again, he asked her to what mailing address were these sent. Rather than answer the question, she transferred the consumer to a man, who called himself “Michael.” He was quite angry that the consumer was not cooperating with Amy and didn't get any further than Amy. The consumer reported that the phone number on the caller ID showed “415-251-4975 Nevada, CA.” When one calls this number, a greeting that states that “The Magic Jack customer that you have called is unavailable.” Definitely, this is not a legitimate call being made by the IRS.

A robo call came in with a greeting stating it was the IRS calling. If the phone call was not returned, a warrant for the person's arrest would be issued. The phone number on the caller ID showed 212-845-9778 Ext. 1824. When the number is called, a person comes on and says, “Thank you for calling the IRS.”

On the IRS's website, there is a warning about such scams. If you have any doubts as to whether the call is real or not, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040. Also let us know if other IRS calls are being unreported.

Skype users or curious onlookers, beware!

If you are receiving Skype messages in your inbox, think twice about clicking to listen to the message. Skype notifications are being emailed and not necessarily to Skype users. If you have doubts or concerns about an email that you received from Skype, contact its Support Team at http://tinyurl.com/qdatsjf.

Before you make a purchase, go to the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana website at www.neindiana.bbb.org or call 423-4433 or toll-free 1-800-552-4631 to check out a business.