We’ve seen an unfortunate increase in phone scams coming from India and other foreign countries. Scammers will call U.S. phone numbers and tell whoever answers that they are calling from the IRS. The caller will usually claim that you owe money to the IRS, in the form of overdue taxes or something similar, and they will instruct you to go purchase a prepaid gift card (Visa, Green Dot, Paypal, etc) in order to pay them. They often start out the call acting like they’re trying to help you by giving you the opportunity to pay them off without penalty, but if you refuse or show doubt they usually turn fairly quick. The caller will start to get aggressive and threaten you, claiming that if you don’t pay them now they will charge you more fees, repossess your house, have you arrested, etc.
To someone reading this article that’s probably sitting in a comfortable environment under minimal stress right now, this is obviously a scam. However, when someone receives one of these calls and they’re unprepared and immediately put in a very stressful situation, it can be perceived as real. And unfortunately, these scammers often target senior citizens because they are perceived as being more vulnerable.
The best way that we can help you to be prepared for a scam call like this is to spread this article everywhere and make it clear THESE CALLS ARE A SCAM! THE IRS WILL NEVER CALL YOU AND ASK YOU TO ACTIVATE ANY KIND OF PREPAID CARD TO PAY OFF A DEBT. If you receive a call such as this, you should hang up and immediately report it to your local police.
For that matter, no reputable company will ask you to activate prepaid cards over the phone. In addition to IRS scam calls, there’s also been many reports of “tech support” scams with callers pretending to work for Microsoft and telling you they can fix your computer if you activate a prepaid card and give them the info.
This hits home for us and we want to help as many people as possible avoid tech support scams, which is why we offer free assistance to those in tech support scam situations. If you’ve had suspicious messages pop up on your computer telling you to call a tech support number, or if you’ve received a call from anyone claiming to work for Microsoft and telling you that you need to pay them, call us! We’ll help you figure out if the the situation is a scam or not. Call us during normal business hours at 330-776-8324 for a second opinion on any tech support or similar scams.