Hank Investigates: IRS scammers

BOSTON (WHDH) - Guess who we’re about to call?

Not the IRS but crooks who pose as tax collection agents.

Voicemail message: “The IRS is filing lawsuit against you.”

Voicemail message: “There is a lawsuit filed against your name.”

The one who leave threatening messages like these.

Voicemail message: “Final notice from IRS.”

Voicemail message: “This is your last chance.”

They got Connie in Roslindale, big time. A “special IRS agent” told her:

Connie: “They told me there were discrepancies in my tax return.”

Then the guy ordered Connie to pay $15,000 in back taxes, or else:

Connie: “He said, ‘I’m going to send the detective down to arrest you.”

Terrified, Connie, as instructed bought these 30, yes, 30 gift cards worth the $15,000. She had to read off each number to the scammers to pay off her “tax bill.”

Connie: “I was scared to death.”

These crooks are convincing. The real IRS told me they’ve hit Massachusetts hard.

Hank: “A million dollars in Massachusetts alone?”
Peggy Riley, IRS: “Yes, and it’s millions of dollars nationwide.”

That’s when we decided: Let’s give them a call, right from IRS HQ, with that agency official listening.

Hank: “Who is this?”
Person from call center: “Uh, this is agent Victor from the Internal Revenue Service investigation department ma’am.”

When we told several so called agents where we were:

Hank: “I’m sitting here with a spokesperson with the Internal Revenue Service and she says the IRS has nothing to do with these calls.”

One made up a new story.

Person from call center: “I said IRS means Indian Railway Service.”
Hank: “IRS means Indian Railway Service?”
Person from call center: “Yes ma’am.”

Hank: “What are these callers counting on?”
Peggy Riley: “They’re counting on someone they’re going to be able to convince they’re real.”
Hank: “Do you think you know about all the victims?”
Peggy Riley: “Probably not.”

The IRS says it would never operate this way and would never accept or request payments in gift cards!

Peggy Riley: “You would always receive something in the mail from the IRS before you’d receive any contact from us.”

The Feds say they just arrested 20 people involved in a call center scam impersonating IRS agents. But these schemes are still ongoing, if you’ve been ripped off or want to avoid it, click here for more information.

Recent arrests

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