Stupid IRS phone scam...

Got a call from someone with what I think was a Filipino accent saying they were from the IRS with a case against me. I actually let them transfer me to their “supervisor” or whatever (they’d woken me up from a nap, and I was still half asleep). It was only when they were asking me to write down a “case number” that I recalled that some scams record “yes” and “no” to provide false proof of acceptance of any number of things, so I feigned connection difficulties until he hung up. He called back twice, but is let it go to my answering machine.

I had no intention of ever giving out personal information (they apparently had my last name, even though I’m unlisted, and my answering machine message has my first - though I’m assuming they weren’t interested in paying attention; maybe I should change it anyway) or paying any money. If it weren’t for the recording thing, I might’ve messed with them some. Then again, I read they can be abusive, so maybe not; I don’t need that shit.

I haven’t heard anything about recording your answers for any benefit. The scams like that that we have run into all eventually get to the point where they want you to use Green Dot prepaid cards or Western Union to send them money. Almost impossible to do anything about since it’s usually from overseas.

I’m unaware of any places that match your voice to some sample, so why would they need your specific “yes” and “no”? Just use a sample from any male/female with the appropriate accent, could use a movie sample etc.

Most likely they would have told you the problem could be cleared up by you Western Unioning them $300 or something so, there are also scams going around where callers claim to be from the FBI, DEA, etc and demand cash to dismiss your criminal case.

Then I was probably conflating unrelated scams. (The one I was thinking of uses the “yes” as “proof” of acceptance of some service or what have you.)

Either way, they seem to have given up on me and moved on, which is good. If they call back, I’ll just tell them I’ll call them back at the IRS phone number online.

I’d still like to know how they got my unlisted name and number, though. I’m assuming they don’t have anything more sensitive, or they wouldn’t need to call me.

I’ve heard that they threaten to call the police or sheriff to arrest the victim. And then shortly after the victim receives a call with the Caller ID spoofed to appear be from the police or sheriff.

Just a .02 worth. Although you may get immigrant IRS call center workers, there are no overseas IRS call centers. A huge chunk of them are in Fresno, CA (they have like 5 sites here, one of them is a huge multi acre complex the size of a shopping mall.)

You will also have a shitload of mail about it before anyone calls you.

Mostly they are not that sophisticated. I have no idea where they get their information but most of the ones we hear about seem to be targeted at the elderly or recent immigrants. Or both. Often they will talk in their native language. An elderly recent immigrant may not know that it is not normal for the IRS to call up looking for money speaking in Gujarati.