Skip to main content
Press Release

US Attorney Warns IRS Impersonation Scam May Continue Despite Arrests

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George today warned Rhode Island taxpayers that, despite reports from Mumbia, India, that numerous individuals were recently arrested at a call center where aggressive IRS impersonation scam telephone calls were allegedly originating from, they should continue to be vigilant and simply hang up the telephone if they receive a telephone call purported to be from the IRS demanding money or personal identifying information.

The reported arrests do not eliminate the possibility that others may still be perpetrating or impersonating the telephone scam.

Since October 2013, American taxpayers have been subjected to unprecedented attempts to fraudulently obtain money by individuals impersonating Internal Revenue Service employees. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of over 1.8 million impersonation related calls with nearly 9,400 victims reporting losses of nearly $50 million.

“Seemingly everyone, including me, has received a call, or multiple calls, from a person purporting to be from the IRS threatening arrest or legal action in court unless money is immediately paid,” said United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “While it is good news that some are being held accountable for repeatedly seeking to victimize people in Rhode Island and across the country, we can expect similar calls going forward, because unfortunately this scam has proven to be successful in some instances.  The right response when getting such a call is simple: don’t talk, just hang up.”

“TIGTA is concerned that the recent arrests in India will not bring a total halt to the IRS telephone impersonation scams,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.   

“Members of the public cannot and must not let their guard down. As TIGTA continues to investigate the many IRS impersonation complaints we have received, our warning to the public remains the same:  just hang up the phone if you receive a call purporting to be from the IRS where the caller states that to avoid arrest or a lawsuit, payment must be made immediately.”

 If you believe you may have fallen victim to an IRS impersonation scam, you may file a report with the TIGTA at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml

###

Updated October 11, 2016

Topic
Consumer Protection
Press Release Number: 16-100