Tax fraud and identity theft have long been are ongoing problems that the IRS has had to constantly evolve to fight. It seems there has always been a battle between the IRS and thieves, to stay a step ahead of each other. Fortunately, the IRS recently won a battle recently against a crew of 60 people, who participated in a nation-wide criminal call center to rip off taxpayers. Six of these individuals resided in Illinois, three were arrested in Willowbrook, and the other three were from Midlothian, Schiller Park, and Glendale Heights.
The behavior of the defendants was not new or original. Over the past several years, scammers have called tax-payers, posing as IRS agents, telling victims that they owe the IRS money and face tax-collection efforts, audits, or lawsuits. They then tell these scared and frantic taxpayers that the only way to settle their debts is by sending cash, money orders, or pre-paid gift cards. These efforts have been effective, as in this case, more than fifteen thousand people have been scammed out of over $300 million dollars.
One of the Illinois suspects was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. One of his victims, according to masslive.com, which reviewed the unsealed records, was a woman from Massachusetts, who received an aggressive call from a man claiming to be a United States government attorney, who said that there was a warrant out for her arrest. The fake government attorney then instructed the woman to go to a store to buy prepaid debit cards in order to avoid arrest. She did so while the man stayed on the line, and purchased tens of thousands of dollars in cards.
The lesson here is to be mindful of con artists, as similar scams are happening as you read this. If someone calls you, claiming to be from the IRS, saying that you owe money, then you are being conned. The IRS does not call or email taxpayers about their tax obligations. In addition, the IRS does not take payment in gift cards or money orders. The IRS sends notices in the mail. When in doubt, contact your attorney for guidance or call the IRS for clarification.
If you have been the victim of tax fraud, seek help right away. Clearing up your record and setting things right can be a long, time consuming process. You need a tax attorney on your side. I have been a tax attorney for over twenty years, have a Master of Law Degree (LLM) in Taxation, and am licensed to practice in the United States Tax Court. I can help you through any IRS tax related issue. Contact The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 for a consultation or visit our website today.