For about a year, I received numerous calls from people that received a strange call from the IRS. The IRS scammer would demand money to pay back tax debt. If the person didn’t pay, the scammer would threaten to call the police and jail time. I thought it would be interesting to call a scammer and record the conversation.
The first thing I had to do is get a phone number to call. I created a social media campaign collect phone numbers. I asked people to provide us phone numbers from IRS scammers. Once I gathered a good list of phone numbers, I set up a computer to record the call. Seems easy enough, right? Well no. There is one thing I didn’t consider. Once I received a potential phone number, the phone number is good for maybe a day or less. The list of phone numbers we gathered over a week or so we no good. This was a bummer. But now I know.
Since the scammer’s phone number was good for a limited amount of time, I got everything set up to call a scammer as soon as I received a new number from the social media campaign. Luck would have it, I got a live one!
Talking to the IRS scammer was interesting. The scammer rattled off a bunch of IRS terms. IRS terms used were intended to make the scammer sound official. Little that he knew, it was comical to me. These were everyday terms I used in the tax services business. For example, the IRS scammer said I violated the Internal Revenue Code. What! Was he serious? The Internal Revenue Code is basically the book of tax law. The scammer mentioned the Offer in Compromise program several times. Which is a legitimate program but used by the scammer to sound official.
After the IRS scammer tried to scare me, the scammer asked to me to pay the back tax debt owed with Apple gift cards. At least, I thought I heard Apple gift cards but that would be odd. The scammer had a strong accent. I asked him for clarification. He did want me to get Apple gift cards because the IRS only accepts Apple gift cards for electronic payment. Yeah ok.
Now that I know to get Apple gift cards, the next step is for me to drive or walk to the nears store to by Apple gift cars. Also, I was required to keep him on the line. If I hang up for any reason, I will be arrested. The IRS scammer also informed me that I should not talk to any body during this time.
At this point, I am fake walking to Walmart to pick up some Apple cards. I thought, it is a good time for small talk. I first asked for a deal. Well no deal can be made. Then I asked where he is calling from. He said, “Seattle, Washington.” That is interesting. I then asked the time in Seattle, Washington. The scammer’s response is priceless, “The same time that you have.” Well, my friend Mr. Scammer. I am calling from Michigan and Seattle is three hours behind. That is when the IRS scammer had enough with my shenanigans and hung up.
Enjoy clips of my conversation with the IRS scammer.