FBI warns of threatening calls from fake IRS agents

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SAN DIEGO — The FBI warned the public Monday about a telephone scam being carried out by thieves posing as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service.

The perpetrators of the scheme call people — primarily immigrants — and tell them the IRS has filed charges against them, making them subject to legal action and arrest, according to federal officials. If questioned in any way, the crooks becomes aggressive and more threatening.

The callers continue to intimidate their targets by threatening to confiscate property and freeze bank accounts over fabricated offenses, including defrauding the government and nonpayment of taxes.

The victims are advised that it supposedly will cost thousands of dollars in fees and court costs to resolve the matter and that they can avoid being arrested only if they immediately buy prepaid money cards to cover the purported money owed.

Sometimes the callers provide specific instructions on where to purchase the cards and the amount to put on each one. The perpetrators also often warn their victims not to tell anyone about the issue and to remain on the telephone until the cards are bought.

The crooks — who generally speak in broken English have an accent, possibly Indian — further claim that if their calls are disconnected for any reason, the recipients will be arrested. Some of the targets have reported that the scammers told them the transaction took too long and that additional fees therefore were required, according to the FBI.

Anyone receiving such as call was asked to report it online, clicking on the red button icon marked “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting.”

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