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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fake IRS Agents Still Ripping Off San Franciscans

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

You already paid your taxes, remember? - FLICKR/RON WIECKI
  • flickr/Ron Wiecki
  • You already paid your taxes, remember?
Last month, we warned readers about these phony IRS workers who had been making cold calls to the hard-working people of San Francisco and duping them into sending them cash. 

Apparently, readers didn't read closely enough. 

Police are continuing to get reports citywide from people getting calls from fake IRS agents who are bullying residents into paying them money. In the scam, the caller will claim the resident owes the IRS some big bucks and if they don't pay right now, they'll send police out to the house to arrest them. 

What's more, the "IRS agent" tends to have a great deal of information about the victims, including their address. 

Per the SFPD:

They will demand that the victim purchase money cards(usually Green Dot brand), and tell the victim to call them back with the numbers from the cards. At this point, they will cash out the cards remotely and the victim’s money is gone forever. The fake IRS agent can be quite persistent and aggressive on the phone. The number they are calling from may appear to be a legitimate IRS number on caller ID, but that is because they are using software to hide their actual number. If the victim calls back, they make even get a voice mail system that seems to be for an IRS office. It is also fake. Many of the suspects have heavy foreign accents. 

Note: This is always a scam. According to police, the IRS never ever demands immediate payment over the phone using cash cards. Also, the SFPD does not arrest people on behalf of the IRS.

"If you get a call like this, just hang up and ignore the caller if they call back," says Captain Simon Silverman. "They may be angry or persuasive, but the fact is they are almost certainly far, far away and will quickly move on to the next victim if you don’t cooperate. We have never heard of a case where the suspect actually showed up and confronted the victim."

Considered yourself warned — again. 

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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