Weirdest scam call ever!

Annie DeighnaughJuly 9, 2014

I just got a scam call..."private caller" number with a fellow with an obvious Indian accent who said he was Nash Taylor and he was with the IRS and that there was an audit complaint against me. He gave me my "irs case number", asked me to write it down, and asked me to verify my name and address which I would not do. He then connected me with a "manager" who was going to fill me in on the details. So the "manager" came on the line and asked me to verify my name. Rather than do that, I asked him what HIS name was and he refused to give it. He then asked me again, and I asked him again. He then said that I was clearly not cooperating with the IRS and that I'd better be home as they would be sending the police to my house in 35 minutes to arrest me!!! And I said on what charge...he said the police would be here to arrest me and I had better contact my legal representative!

I'm sure at some point they were going to be asking for my SSN and other personal information. I mean I've dealt with all kinds of scammers, but I have never been threatened by one or had them attempt to intimidate me in any way.

Amazing.

The scary part is, how many older folks whose judgment is no long sharp fall victims to these scammers.

Not good.

If there was a way of reporting them, I certainly would.

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tinam61

You can report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

It is our practice to not answer any phone calls when we don't know the caller. We are also on the "do not call" list but I believe that is related more to sales.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:48AM
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duluthinbloomz4

There are any number of ways to report these IRS scams - Google reporting IRS scams. The link below is the best of the lot - that I looked through anyway.

I've gotten a couple a while back but in the form of a robo-call where they give me a phone number and the name of an agent to ask for. Starts out with "this message is for YOU".

Here is a link that might be useful: Reporting IRS Scams

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:58AM
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dedtired

Sign up for Nomorobo. I hardly ever get nuisance calls anymore.

You are right. There are people who would cooperate with the scammer, believing it is legitimate. How sad. It's also sad that we now equate an Indian accent with fraud.

The Do Not Call list is pretty useless. Nomorobo works about 95 percent of the time, although only on VOIP systems.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:04AM
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RoseAbbey

It's ridiculous the amount of phone calls we get from telemarketers these days. I dont think I have been called by a scammer but I usually just hang up. Not sure if I would have caught on a fast as you did. I might have confirmed my name and address but no more than that I hope but hearing IRS might have intimidated me...good for you.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:11AM
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tinam61

We must be lucky, because we have had success with the do not call listing. We also did the one for cell phones.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:17AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well the problem is, I wasn't going to answer a "private caller" call but DH did...turned out to be the doctor with his test results.

I figured it was a scam from the get go as I know the IRS doesn't have enough agents to call anyone...they do their stuff by snail mail.

DH tells me there's another email scam supposedly from EZ Pass and they're saying to not even open it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:19AM
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outsideplaying_gw

We almost never answer the phone anymore unless there is a caller ID associated with one of our kids or family members associated with the number. Yes, we have missed a few from doctor's offices but they leave a message and we call back.

Almost daily and several times a day we get toll-free or 'private caller' calls and almost all are during the day or dinner time. So annoying when one of us is trying to nap or do something on the weekend. I'm going to try that nomorobo and see if it helps. Maybe some of it will help during the election campaigns anyway. I'm even getting them now on my cell phone!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:34AM
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barb13_gw

If you are taking a nap or anything else in your own home, take the phone off of the hook. It's your phone, your home and your nap. This is what I do since I am tired of getting these calls.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:40AM
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graywings123

That's a weird one, Annie. Do you think it was two men or just one disguising his voice?

When I have gotten calls like that calling about my credit card, I have played along for a while, saying that I will have to go find the card. Then I put the phone down and go about my business and wait to see how long they hang on. I've been able to keep them on the line for 5 minutes or so.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Fun2BHere

That was weird, AnnieDeighnaugh. I guess they figured we are all so frightened of the IRS that you would comply without asking any questions. I don't have caller ID, but luckily I don't get many spam calls. On the rare occasion when I do, I just disconnect without saying anything. However, I like Graywings' approach. I might try that just for my own amusement.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:52AM
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tinam61

Yes, on our info forms at the drs - there is an option as to if they can leave a message, etc. Also, with the patient portals, more and more docs are providing your info electronically.

We've had a few election calls recently. Cracks me up when they leave their recorded message.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:31PM
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outsideplaying_gw

I meant to say, Annie, that yes it was a very weird call and probably fishing for someone willing to play along. I've done what graywings has done. Also have asked to be taken off lists and have been rude right back but it does no good.

Barb, our landlines are remote handsets and we have 3 so I have unplug the base unit (which resets clocks, etc) and everything else. And the handsets stay charged. Almost not worth it. I do turn down the volume which helps.

I tried to register our phones with Nomorobo and it doesn't accept either AT&T landlines or Verizon wireless so no help there.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:48PM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

That is an intense one! I'm glad you were able to see through it but you are right there are a lot of people who won't realize it's a scam. I've had phone calls from "wells fargo" calling to verify my information before... even left me a voicemail asking me to call back. I really don't think my bank would ever call me and ask me to call them back and verify my account information is accurate!?

I'm with a lot of you, if I don't recognize the number or it says private/blocked I don't answer it. If it's important they'll leave a message and if they don't then I guess they didn't have anything important to say!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:55PM
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saltidawg

We had our Primary Election here in MD a couple of weeks ago.... political calls are exempt from the Do No Call Registry restrictions. We were buried in calls and without exception they "spoofed" the Caller ID.

I'd love to see the law changed to require a meaningful Caller ID address on political calls... I'd actually prefer they be banned, but that isn't likely to happen!!!

This post was edited by saltidawg on Wed, Jul 9, 14 at 16:39

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Has anyone actually used nomorobo? I went to sign up, but then I got concerned as it requires you to use the function that rings another phone at the same time as your home phone. When I use that for my personal purposes...like when I'm out and I want my home phone to ring my cell, any messages get left only on the cell...it doesn't go back to the home phone, so I'm concerned it will undo my voicemail function...

Anyone with any experience would be most appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:04PM
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jenna1

Aw jeez, is this still around? Or being tried again?

We haven't had those types of calls since moving here a little over a year and a half ago but at our old house in CA I got a couple of the exact same calls. The first one I just hung up on. The second one I said, "How interesting....my husband is the Chief of Police and my son is a county Assistant District Attorney" and they hung up without any further words of intimidation. I'm not usually fast with a response but those words just came out of my mouth that day.

I've also just put the phone down and walked away for solicitation calls. So satisfying. :) Now that we're retired, both my husband and I occasionally take naps and I just hit the talk button on one of the handsets so that the line is busy to anyone trying to call. This effects the other handsets and the base phone. Just have to remember to hang it up after one or both of us are up and moving again.

I'm a big fan of blocking calls but unfortunately can't do that with calls that don't have phone numbers or are from 'private caller'. We only know one person who calls us with 'private caller' and that's because he works in law enforcement so ASA we hear his (or his wife's) voice on the answering machine we pick up.

Jenna

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:14PM
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patty_cakes

That's unbelievable. I also got a call with the agent giving his name as well as a 'reference number'. I returned the call, and it was from the retail tax board with a question about the taxes for my space in the antique mall, which are payed by the mall. I needed to update some paperwork, but that's it. The caller didn't 't give any indication if it was a tax issue with the IRS, state, or county. Just his name and the reference number. I take honesty for granted in TX. ;)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:32AM
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roarah

I let my 2 1/2 year old neice who loves to chat aimlessly on a phone answer all 1-800 and unknown callers calls. She just tells the caller all about her potty training and peppa pig episodes as they keep asking to talk to her mom whom she repeatingly says is at work. It is great fun to watch!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:48PM
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gibby2015

I've had pretty good luck with the do not call list. I no longer answer my home phone because most everyone I know calls my cell. We got rid of our land line and replaced it with a family plan cell phone to keep our home number. I give that number to anyone I don't want to give my cell number to. Then I have the service to convert voicemail to email and it sends me an email if someone does leave a message. I never even touch the "home phone" except to dust under it.

I rarely get a junk call on my cell but I don't answer that either if it's not a number I recognize.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:21PM
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fourkids4us

Saltidawg, I'm in MD too and was inundated with the political robocalls. Plus, dh and I are registered in different political parties, so during elections, we really get hammered. We have caller ID and I almost never answer the phone unless I recognize the number. Sometimes, if I'm expecting a call from someone whose number I won't recognize, I'll gamble and answer the phone. But we have an answering machine, so usually anyone who wants to get in touch with us will leave a message and I can either pick up the phone if I'm there, or call back when I hear their message later.

These days, I almost exclusively use my cell phone number for receiving personal calls. I use my home phone for things like doctors, utilities, or other businesses. Or when I sign up for something online that requires a phone number, I use my home number. I don't like being "disturbed" on my cell phone when I'm not home, unless it's a personal call that I've got stored in my contacts so I can decide whether to answer. Most of my friends/family will call on my cell phone so I mostly only use the home phone to make an outgoing call. I've toyed with getting rid of the home phone but I still have young kids at home who don't have their own cell phones. I need to have a phone at home for emergency sake.

Annie, we've heard about the EZ pass scandal down here too but I haven't known anyone yet who has received the email. I do need to warn my parents about these scams…though they are pretty savvy, it helps to remind them!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:24PM
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maddielee

I signed up for nomorerobo about 8 months ago. LOVE IT! It did take awhile to get used to not grabbing the phone on the first ring, but now its second nature. (your phone will only ring once, if it doesn't have a 2nd ring it was a robo call.)

I had to reset my voicemail after nomorerobo was started, have not had a problem.

We average 3 robo calls a day.

Robo calls like reverse 911 and school notification calls still come through.

ML

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:31PM
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awm03

Nomorobo sounds excellent, but Comcast requires you to activate Voice2Go in order to use Nomorobo, and I have no need for Voice2Go. Hope Comcast will expand Nomorobo service in the future.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:01PM
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saltidawg

fourkids4us,

"Saltidawg, I'm in MD too and was inundated with the political robocalls. Plus, dh and I are registered in different political parties, so during elections, we really get hammered."

I understand... my wife is a Registered Independent and got no calls not junk mail. It was all my fault she pointed out.

The problem with being an Independent in your and my state is that you end up being somewhat disenfranchised as you have no say in selecting the names to go on the ballot in the Fall.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Linda

AnnieDeighnaugh,

Do you have a 'Scam Alert' reporter on one of your local TV channels?

The problem with reporting scams to an internet site is that many elders do not use a computer. But most do watch the news.

I would go that avenue as well as the internet route.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 4:39PM
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forboystoo

Annie~ I found your IRS agent ! All you have to do is wire to his Paypal account.

So sad .

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/04/16/listen-the-largest-ever-phone-scam-involving-irs-impersonators/

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:49AM
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outsideplaying_gw

I used to make up stuff all the time to scan callers. Now that I don't even answer the phone I don't have near as much fun.

Wrong numbers - I used to tell them she was 'upstairs with a customer' and could she call back when they were finished. Only did this if it was the same person calling over and over. I know...that's really tacky of me but some of these calls came in the middle of the night.

I would sometimes say I was an attorney and would call the FCC in the morning and report them for violating the Do Not Call list and for all the spam calls I was receiving.

My DH actually does volunteer as a reservist with our County Sheriff's department. I'll have to remember the 'Police Chief' thing. Our local sheriff (a female) is a friend so she would think it was a real hoot if I told a caller I was 'her'.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:15AM
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awm03

Thanks to someone in the forum who alerted us to the "Windows IT Dept." scam, where a caller claims to be from Microsoft calling about fixing an infected computer, which they will seize up & won't let go unless you pay them, I actually had a funny exchange with one of the scammers. One called when I was exasperated about something that day:

Him: "Hello, Mrs. M? This is Rajiv from Microsoft. We are concerned that..."

Me, sarcastically: "Oh go ahead, convince me my computer has a virus..."

And the caller started laughing, and said softly, "You have a nice day, ma'am."

"You too," I said, laughing too, and hung up.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:12PM
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abbey_cny

This is very timely. I just got 3 calls in one day from an "Officer Foster" from the IRS. I didn't answer and it went to voice mail. It was a recording, claiming I was in big trouble with the IRS and if I or my attorney of record didn't call right away that Officer Foster couldn't be responsible for the consequences. Ridiculous of course. Fortunately since it came on my cell phone I was able to easily block so no more calls from Officer Foster. How on earth would they expect someone to respond to a call in which they didn't have your name and which was just a recorded statement? Then again, people do panic sometimes.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:01PM
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lascatx

I haven't read all the replies, but have gotten letters from them. They do send out snail mail. I have also called them and the agent will give you their name (maybe first name only, but I know I have gotten names) and an ID number.

I would report the call. Law enforcement can go into your phone records if they have reason to. If they had hung up when you asked for a name, there might not be anything they could do, but since they threatened you, there is a possible action on the threat. More likely the threat and the possibility of it getting folks who are vulnerable to give info could give them interest in investigating. That's the kind of thing you worry about an elderly person falling for, or worse, having a heart attack or stroke over.

In these parts, those scammers probably have a 50/50 shot of having someone respond by thanking them for the notice they'll be arriving and telling them to come on -- and be sure to show their badge carefully cuz the person answering the door will be packin'.

Graywings, I'll have to try that one.

When we had a fax machine, I used to start the fax machine when those calls came in so they got those squeals in their ear. E-fax just isn't the same.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:06PM
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Acadiafun

I pretended I was a police detective when the last scammer called. Told them I was at murder crime scene and would need their name, company name, phone number and the last time they had called and spoken to the victim. They hung up and didn't call again. lol

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 7:11PM
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probookie

We purchased a call blocking device to attach to our land line about 6 months ago. It does require caller ID, but it works wonderfully. Hit the button to block a suspect incoming call, or check the number online first for complaints and then block it manually. Ours can block up to 2,000 numbers. Amazon offers 4 or 5 different blocker devices. The spammers keep switching numbers, but we go for days on end now with no spam calls at all.

It's been 6 months, but my delight in the device has not abated. DH rolls his eyes when I do my Rocky-at-the-top-of-the-steps dance, chanting "I've got the power!" every time I block a call.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 11:20AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Those look interesting, but unfortunately, there are some recorded calls we want to receive...like dr offices now use robo devices to remind us of appointments and our emergency alert system with our state and town use a robo call technology to provide info during storms and such. So does the system block those calls too?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 12:12PM
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party_music50

I see this is an old thread, but I have to say that Acadiafun's idea is BRILLIANT!!! I need to remember to use that myself! :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 12:17PM
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probookie

Annie, the type of call blocker we have has to be "told" who/what to block. It sits next to the phone in my office. When the phone rings and caller ID comes on, I can hit the big red button to forever block something like number 000-000-0000 from caller Unavailable, a mask for the actual number and spammer. Some of the calls are obviously spam, others not so much. If in doubt, I let it ring and google the calling number. The "who's calling" online complaint sites attribute a surprisingly large proportion of the calls to people claiming to be from Microsoft who urgently need your personal information so they can help you protect your computer from malware. We are careful about who we block because we want to maintain communication with doctors, drugstores, friends of friends, and charities that provide pick-up service. In 6 months, we've blocked about 150 numbers.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 2:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks probookie, that's helpful. An awful lot of the robocalls I get show no number and just say "P" as an identifier, which is exactly what it did for our emergency alert during our latest blizzard...but I'd love to get this figured out, esp before the 2016 election season when the phone goes mad with political stuff.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 9:26PM
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peegee

Really, really creepy to me lately has been getting calls where MY OWN name has been displayed on my landline's caller ID.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 7:14PM
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Embothrium

I've had that happen once also.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 7:28PM
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javiwa

Starting about 15 years ago, we just stopped picking up the landline anymore -- all calls screened. It used to annoy the heck out of our family and friends, but they've gotten used to it and either leave a message or call my cell. Judging by the number of calls and immediate hangups, we must receive 2-3 robocalls a day. In fact, with the phone company recently raising our basic plan another $4 (up to $40 now), we're getting ready to cut the cord altogether.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 9:28PM
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allison0704

The "Department of Treasury United States" (which isn't even the correct name, flag #1) called my house a few weeks ago and asked for DD2. I said she was my daughter, but not here. He proceeded to tell me (flag #2) that it was concerning a legal matter and gave me his name and call back number (flag #3). I looked up the Novato, CA number and it's been flagged as scam. The website said they call saying you owe Federal government $X,000 and if you don't pay you will go to jail. He called back today, so I said "this is a scam so don't call back again." He told me to "STFU!" Seriously!? (Pretty sure that was flag #4!) Now I am a Southern lady, but I told him (same to you!) and hung up.

Two friends (one retired from government) told me to call the State Attorney General's office. They already know about them calling my area and said it is currently heavy. Also said "they probably aren't even in the U.S." No!? I don't think there is a thing they can do about it.

Tried to sign up for the nomorerobo, but our carriers are not included.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 2:21PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

One time one of these Indian fellows (can tell by the accent) who said his name was "robert" or some such thing, tried the scam on me about the IRS calling, and I asked him if I could ask him a question. He said sure. I asked him how he can sleep at night knowing he's engaged in a job that hurts people, some of the most vulnerable people, the elderly, the under-educated and the poor. Doesn't he realize that this is not good for his soul or his karma? He said, then what should I do? I told him he sounded like a nice young man and that I was sure he was bright and he should look for honest employment where he can help people rather than hurting them. It would be much better for him to do so. He said thank you and then hung up.

No idea what the net result was, but I figured it was better than just hanging up or yelling at him or something....

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 3:10PM
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patty_cakes

My odd call was from Officer Judy Smith!

This post was edited by patty_cakes on Sun, Feb 1, 15 at 20:18

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 8:08PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

We have gotten the Dept of Treasury calls. I just let the machine pick-up. It is a bit disconcerting when they are able to call for you specifically. My guess is that is what hooks a lot of people. On the other hand, I cannot help but to laugh when at the end of the message they say "God bless you." I am fairly certain that is not on the script for federal employees.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 9:02PM
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bpathome

I was in the bank teller line when the older gentleman in front of me withdrew a certain amount of money. He told the teller he'd gotten a call that he'd missed a jury summons date and had to pay a fine by buying a Visa card at Walgreens and sending it in. The teller and I exchanged looks, then she questioned the fellow, but he really believed it and was headed to the drugstore.

The next time I was in the bank I mentioned it, and the teller told me he had returned to tell her that the manager at the Walgreens told him it was a scam and called the police with him.

The local paper and city newsletter started advising about this scam going around.

We get the occasional people coming to the door or calling and speaking in the language of our surname. I don't know what they are saying, I just close the door or hang up. That's creepy.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 9:22PM
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dreamgarden

"It's been 6 months, but my delight in the device has not abated. DH rolls his eyes when I do my Rocky-at-the-top-of-the-steps dance, chanting "I've got the power!" every time I block a call."

LOL! We never pick up unless we know who is calling. If they don't leave a VM, then it can't be that important.

Seems to have worked so far.

Tax season is approaching. Beware of IRS scammers! If you get a weird call (and think they might be bothering seniors nearby), call your local PD and let them know. If you get enough annoying calls, sometimes they will do something about it.

Our local PD posts the latest scams on their Facebook page.

I let my neighbors know. Same with them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 9:32PM
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patty_cakes

I didn't pick up, but listening to the message, it was obviously computer gererated. Who would fall for such crap?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2015 at 1:06AM
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arcy_gw

I can't get past that you answered a call from a "private caller" and a number you didn't know. That is why I pay for caller ID--so these people never know if they tripped on a "real" number or not. I would never give them the time of day let alone confirm anything. They are on a fishing expedition. REAL calls leave messages--and I get to decide when I have the time to respond. You are perpetuating your frustration. Also there is a "no call" cite you can register your number and there is a place to report unwanted calls with the Feds. I don't have the addresses at my finger tips--but I bet you could Google it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2015 at 7:26AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Well, arcy, not all the call numbers display...some just say "P". But a few of them are calls we want to get. Unfortunately most are not. DH has this thing that he answers the call and says hello, but if there is a delay in response, he figures it's a robo call and hangs up. Well last night it was a robo call, but from the cable co. reminding us of our appointment with the technician...so not all robo calls are unwanted. And not all "P" calls are unwanted. Only most of them are....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2015 at 7:44AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

So I had another call today from a private number. Woman id'd herself and wanted to speak to Annie Deighnaugh. I said who was she with, she named a firm that didn't mean anything to me. I said what does she want and she refused to say anything other than she has personal business with Annie Deighnaugh. I refused to ID who I was and since I wouldn't she would say nothing else. I asked her to give me a general idea what it was about and she would only say "personal business with Annie Deighnaugh". She did say she wasn't trying to sell me anything. So we were at an impasse. I told her if she really knew Annie Deighnaugh, she'd have other ways of contacting her and suggested she use it. She said she would try again later, and I told her not to call again.

I suspect it was a call reminding us to fill out a proxy statement. But how ridiculous. I could've been anyone and misrepresented myself as Annie Deighnaugh, so why on earth would that make a difference? How could they possibly trust that I was who I said I was? And if it was about a proxy vote, why couldn't she say that? It's just getting super bizarro!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2015 at 12:34PM
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Kippy

I picked up the phone yesterday at my moms, she had been complaining that some one was calling and calling and not leaving a message (we have the same conversation over and over about not worrying about those types of calls....)

Since I recognized the number from the half dozen calls in 24 hours, I picked it up and the man said how he was the president of ___________ company and they are in the area to do free home inspections and will make repairs, they will supply the materials for free and only charge for labor.....

I let him do his whole speech figuring it was delaying a call to some one else.

He sure hung up fast when I asked him to note this number and that I was a property manager.... Of course if he was legit, he would have wanted to drum up even more business

And then there was the lady who called to tell me my computer was broken and all I needed to do was to go to this website ____________ I told her I couldn't cause my computer was broken remember. She hung up

    Bookmark   February 7, 2015 at 12:48PM
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aboxofcrayons
This is why you don't pick paint colours off the internet
This photo has been circulating the internet today....
amberm145
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