Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Justice served to phone scammers

Hands in handcuffs on the table

Since 2013 phone scammers have defrauded at least 15,000 people across the United States of over $300 million by impersonating IRS agents and immigration authorities and threatening them with arrest and deportation if they did not make the demanded payments.

Last month the U.S. Department of Justice indicted 56 people with conspiracy and fraud relating to the phone scams. Twenty (of the 24) U.S. suspects were arrested officials said. Thirty-two suspects were believed to be living in India, and the court documents also outlined charges against five call center operations. U.S. officials said that they would seek to prosecute the Indian suspects in the United States and that the Indian government was notified after the charges were unsealed.

Although the volume of suspected scam calls around the U.S. dropped after the India raids, additional victims continued to be identified. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, do not give them any personal information – the IRS will not be calling you – they send notifications via mail.

Lauren Sweeney