UPDATE: Reports of Government Agency Imposter Scams Spike in Metro New York

February 05, 2016

Over the past several days, Metro NY BBB has noted a significant spike in submissions about imposter U.S. Treasury agents to BBB's Scam Tracker, an interactive tool where consumers can research scams happening in their area, and report potentially fraudulent activity for collection and dissemination throughout North America.

It is not uncommon for consumers to receive phone calls and messages from scammers claiming to be agents of government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Treasury or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In fact, the IRS Imposter Scam was the top-reported scam to all BBBs in 2015, as released by the Council of BBBs last month.

The messages to consumers from these scammers present similar urgent dilemmas: some consumers are allegedly threatened with enforcement actions, and told that failure to act will result in them facing felony charges, and having to appear before a grand jury or magistrate. Other consumes are reportedly told that they owe back taxes from previous years, and an arrest warrant has been issued for them.

Consumers have provided BBB with the names used by these fraudulent Treasury agents, such as:

David Gray

Dennis Gray

Steve Martin

These operators use a range of different telephone numbers to contact consumers. Sometimes a 202 area code is displayed, which is the designated code for Washington, DC, but various other numbers and area codes have been reported to BBB.

Both the U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS have posted warnings on their websites about phone scams by operators using their agency’s names.

Neither the U.S. Treasury nor the IRS will contact consumers by phone to demand money, or threaten legal action. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from one of these agencies demanding money or threatening legal action, BBB advises you to hang up the phone.  If you receive a similar call and have questions about it, contact BBB at (212)533-6200.