MERCED, CA – Several Merced County residents have been called over the last few years by people claiming to be with the IRS. Usually they make a few threats and when they realize you are on to them… they hang up. But now they getting more brazen and are even capturing and cloning phone numbers to make you believe they are legit.
As an investigative reporter, it is my job to approach every tip with skepticism and to attempt to debunk the story. So I called one of the numbers recently and spoke with the rep who said he was an IRS agent. I then told him I really appreciate the work they do and just needed to confirm with a supervisor since we had several residents believing it may be a phone scam and that is when he became upset and hung up on me. The caller had a very heavy Indian accent.
About a week later my wife called me saying that she received a call from my cell phone saying that I had been arrested and that I gave my phone to them to call her because they were a bail agent and could process the bail immediately. They also included that they were already at the jail waiting from me to finish getting booked. And again, a very heavy Indian accent.
My wife hung up and like the smart woman she is she called me to find out I was at home, with my phone and all was good.
Today we received three people asking us to post this current scam as they are getting even more bolder and cloning phone numbers that call them back. This is what one viewer said about she and her friend’s recent experiences.
“They call from India, claiming to be from the IRS, stating that there IS a lawsuit to be filed against you due to tax liens,” she wrote. “They then tell you they are willing to cut the owed amount in half IF you pay it now by debit or credit. They make a LOT of threats of courtrooms and legal fees. My grandmother was called 4 times by them yesterday, and when you tell them to call your lawyer they hang up. My friend has received three calls just today, and another friend told me her mother got 5 calls yesterday alone.
These are the phone numbers to be aware of New York number 347-983-0706. A Silver creek NY number 716-281-0203 and a name not available number of 140-867-6120.
The first New York number was the one that when I called back they answered, but you have a hard time understanding them from their thick Indian accents. I called the real IRS and they said it was a scam and that all of their calls are from local numbers. If the IRS calls people in California, the California IRS calls them.”
Another viewer listed 509-252-0963 as a number they have received calls from, too.
Remember that if you pay them, then it becomes a crime. But even then it is difficult because the criminals are usually in other countries and getting those countries cooperation can be a problem. Best thing to do is hang up and call your services provider and check.