I received an interesting text from a client and one of my dearest friends the other afternoon. It was following on a group text her brother sent to both of us "I'm literally my own best friend. I have inside jokes with myself, and sometimes I'll start laughing out loud at how funny I am."
"That is what I am telling myself after I spoke with the fake IRS agent today and he told me "And Now! I hang up in your face!""
Me: WHAT? What IRS call?
"I'll call you."
A few minutes later I got the giggle I so desperately needed for the day.
Friend: Here's what happened this morning. I got a recorded phone message from the "IRS". The message stated that I needed to pay $4000.00 in the next 24 hours or they were going to put a lien on my accounts and properties.
Me: WHAT!?!?!? Did you get a notice? That's not how the IRS works.
F: Don't freak out. I know you do all my taxes and I know that I didn't receive any notices.
Me: Remember the IRS NEVER makes phone calls! I mean unless you contact them or respond to one of their letters the will NOT call you!!!
F; Right, so I called the IRS just to make sure that everything was okay. I gave them the phone number the message gave me and told them what the message said and they confirmed that it was a scam.
Me: Oh good I'm glad.
F: Yes but you know I couldn't just let it go.
Me: What did you do?
F: I called the scammers. I told them what they were doing was illegal. They called me a liar and a cheater! You could tell that English was not their first language. I told him after all that that I would be calling him back. He said "yeah right" little did he know he would be dealing with me every time I had a break from work.
Me: You did not.
F; Yes I did. I spoke with a Mr. Brian Walker at least 11 times and another guy once and twice I couldn't get through.
Me: You called them 15 times?
Me: What did you say?
F: I kept telling them what they were doing was wrong. The guy finally asked why I kept calling and I told him that the longer I was on the phone with them the less likely he was going to scam someone else. In another call I gave them a fake name and they couldn't find me in the system but he was like we will still take your money "where are you?". I told him I was at Starbucks and he told me to go to the nearest Safeway and he would give me more instructions from there. I replied with "I won't be doing that since you aren't the IRS and I am not in your system and you were still willing to take my money!" He started with the insults again and then he threatened to call the police and have me arrested and disconnected the call.
Me: Good thing you didn't give him your real name.
F: Yeah cause my husband would have so loved a visit from the police. They have my name, home address and the last four digits of my social. They could have made things very difficult for me if they had had my real name. I was calling from the bank lines at work so if they call back they would have gotten our receptionist which wouldn't have given them much to go on to figure out who was calling them.
Me: You are so funny! That group totally deserves your phone calls!
F: Wait, I called them back again and this time I got another guy who told me I was wasting their time and why did I keep calling. I replied in the same manner as before, you guys are a scam and I am keeping other people from getting hurt by calling you. To which he replied "You need to stop calling me! It is so rude! You know what happens to people like you? I hang up in your face!!!!" and he hung up. So that's what that feels like.
Me: Seriously? Oh my! (giggling loudly enough for the boys to question my sanity and what I was laughing at.)
F: I called him back to tell him hanging up on people was rude and guess what? The phone number was disconnected! Apparently they couldn't take my harassing phone calls! Win for me for the day, I annoyed a scammer so bad they yelled at me to stop calling them and had to disconnect their number.
Note to self never mess with my friend.
I received the following text this morning:
That IRS scam phone number is still "out of service." Guess they moved on. Too bad - I was really looking forward to my calls with Brian Walker today.
And now I hang up in your face!!!
As a side note please remember the IRS does not just make random demands for money by phone. If you do receive a threatening phone call please refer to the IRS website to make sure you are actually calling an IRS number.