Taxes, Warrants, & Spoofed Numbers

June 19, 2014

From Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Indiana

Contact: Marjorie Stephens
Interim President/CEO at 260.918.2067

Is the US Treasury calling about problems with your taxes?

[Fort Wayne, IN - June 18, 2014] - Consumers are receiving calls from the US Treasury regarding issues with their taxes. One person reported having received a call from Robert Matthews, who claimed to be from the Department of Legal Affairs. His purpose in calling was because of an issue with the taxes being filed. Right away, the consumer knew this was a scam and called "Robert" out on it. "Robert" insisted that he was legit and that a letter would be sent in the mail within 2 days. The consumer is still waiting for this official letter from the US Treasury's Legal Department.

...And if this isn't enough, "There's a warrant against you!" A woman received a call from a man with a thick foreign accent and was told that there was a warrant issued against her name, but he just didn't happen to know what her name was.  He mentioned a 5-digit number and told her to contact their Washington, DC office. The caller did not mention the name of the company he represented either, just which office in what city to contact.  Unlike many fraudulent calls, consumers can be easily tricked because frauds often do have what appears to be good information.

Spoofed numbers are becoming a REAL nuisance.  Have you received a call from yourself lately? This sounds off the wall, but consumers nationally are reporting this. How does this happen? Apparently, scammers are purchasing spoofing technology, where they can program caller ID to show whatever name/number that they want. This is very concerning, especially to those wanting to block unwanted calls. Just how do you block calls from yourself? You don't.

For problems with spoofed calls, it is recommended to screen these calls. Let them go to voice mail or check caller Id to see if you recognize a number. If the number is your own, you may have doubts.  But if it is a number you recognize, you may pick it up unknowingly and find out it's not the individual you thought it was.  Bingo...they now know it is a working number!

Contact the Indiana Attorney General's office or the Federal Trade Commission and report any calls you receive.  You can call BBB at 260.423.4433 for more information. Spoofing is of great concern as more scammers purchase technology that hides the identity of the true caller.

If you receive any call that asks for money to be sent for a prize you supposedly won, or is threatening your arrest or heavy fines, or a recorded message to call a number or press a button, refrain from doing so.  Their tactic is always to catch you off your guard.  Do not invite conversation with them.  Hang up!