They’re back: Telephone scammers
Yes, they have returned: The IRS and National Grid are both warning of telephone scammers that call and demand fictional, past-due payment.
The IRS scammers1 are very specific; they call and threaten immediate arrest, loss of driver’s license, and seizure of assets. They may leave a message requesting a callback; follow-up callers may pretend to be from the local police or the DMV.
Characteristics of these scams can include2:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers “spoof” or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls. (Note: The IRS does not use email to contact taxpayers.)
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- Do not engage the caller in a conversation
- Do not provide personal information
- Hang-up the phone immediately
- Call the IRS at 800-829-1040
National Grid3 will call and request payment and will notify of potential for service interruption due to non-payment, which makes it tougher to separate a legitimate call from a scammer. If in doubt:
- Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account
- Do not provide your account number or any other personal information
- Contact National Grid at 800-322-3223
1. Thank you to Nancy Goedecke, EA, of Taxes and Money Management who provided the notice on the IRS scammers.
2. Taken from http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-“Dirty-Dozen”-Tax-Scams-for-2014;-Identity-Theft,-Phone-Scams-Lead-List.
3. Taken from National Grid’s July/August 2014 issue of WeConnect.