By Alex Lloyd Gross
A telephone scam is starting up again and looks to be prevalent in the Philly area. A man with a heavy Indian accent calls and tells you he is an IRS agent and you are in big trouble unless you pay and pay now. At times, they will leave a message, for you to call. Recently, an attempt was made to scam a local Fire Chief. He was way too smart to fall for that but he did post the number (240) 514-0158 which is a Maryland exchange.
The voice on the other end asks what number you are calling from. Delaware Valley News thought it would be fun to call the number and investigate. The man bought a prepaid calling card and is hoping the person they called will be scared and send via a wire transfer to a location. It’s a scam. When we called the voice wanted to know our telephone number, so after a bit of back and forth, we gave them the number to the White House.
They wanted to know about the taxes we owed and after telling them the individual they wanted was actually a cat and would be at the number shortly, they hung up, clearly confused. When the number appeared on Facebook postings, people called with more shenanigans,which meant they more people that are wasting the time of the scammer , the less time the scammer has to work potential victims.
The truth of the matter is if you are in trouble with the IRS they will never call you. They will correspond via US Mail. If they call and you answer, do not give them any personal information. If you want to play with them, give them the name of a pet and never answer their questions with valid answers, such as where you bank or confirm you social security number .
If you do, in fact owe the IRS money and you get a call, tell the caller you will call them back, and instead call your local IRS office, which number can be found in a phone book. That way, any payment arrangements you make are legit. If you have been scammed, there is nothing you can do, your money is gone.