Taxpayers across the nation face threatening phone scams on a daily basis. This year, the IRS reports seeing a surge of phone scams impersonating IRS agents.
Recently, I received one of those calls, and spoke with Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.
This is the message left on my cell phone:
The IRS if filing a lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file please call immediately on our department number: [out of sate phone number given].
"It is definitely a scam. It’s straight out of their playbook," said Jepsen.
There were a few things that stuck out about this call for Jepsen.
"They try to sound official in that the person is soft spoken and they ask you to call them," he said.
Phone scams aren’t only IRS-related. Scammers have impersonated law enforcement, contest administrators, and even utility companies.
Jepsen said there are a few things to keep in mind when receiving a suspicious phone call.
"If it’s too good to be true, like winning a trip, it almost certainly is too good to be true," he said. "If it’s a phone call from a law enforcement official like the IRS or the FBI, or they represent themselves to be a law enforcement official, that’s not how law enforcement works. They would not be calling you on the phone."
Jepsen cautions: never give out any personal information.
If there’s any question about the validity of the call Jepsen advises hanging up and calling the organization directly at a valid number.
Two days after receiving the call , we tried calling the number back, and it was out of service.