Daunted by the IRS Robocall Lawsuit? Do Not Worry. It Is Probably a Scam!
IRS robocall scams pose a serious risk to taxpayers all across the United States—especially when they are faced with an IRS robocall lawsuit. Scammers often threaten their victims with legal action to instill fear into their hearts, thus increasing the likelihood of victims actually taking the bait. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, more than 10,000 IRS robocall scam victims have lost over $54 million since 2013!
What Does the U.S. Treasury Robocall on Tax Fraud Sound Like?
It all starts with an ominous pre-recorded message:
“Hello, this call is an official note from the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. The reason for this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit on your name because you have tried to do a fraud with the IRS, and we are taking legal action, and we are issuing a legal arrest warrant on your name. To get more information regarding this case file, just call us back on our department number, 708-432-8161.”
If you decide to give the “IRS” a callback, you will get in touch with a real call center where an alleged IRS representative will start talking about your “case file” immediately.
While scammers use different tactics to lure you in, the representative will probably tell you that they can help you avoid getting a lien placed on your assets or something else to that effect.
Note that no one asks you about your name or other personal information, but they are discussing your “case file!”
If you try to confront the representative with the fact that they do not even know who you are, they will evade your question and ask you to provide your Social Security number.
At this point, you should probably hang up the phone.
Surefire Signs of a Scam
Discerning whether you are dealing with a scam or not is not that easy when you are being threatened with an arrest warrant or a lawsuit.
As if threats were not enough, IRS robocall scammers try to prey on the elderly and minority groups whose native tongue is not English because they are more likely to get intimidated by government threats.
That is why it is best to do your due diligence beforehand and inform yourself on how the IRS actually operates and communicates with taxpayers.
Here are a few things that the IRS never does:
- Ask you to share your credit or debit card information over the phone
- Issue an arrest warrant if you fail to pay your tax bill in time
- Demand instant payment without allowing you to appeal the amount
- Call you because of an unexpected refund
- Require you to make a payment via a wire transfer, gift cards, etc.
To learn more about phone scams, feel free to check out our FCC guide to robocalls.
What Should You Do if You Get a Robocall About a Lawsuit and Arrest Warrant?
If you are certain that you do not owe any taxes to the government, upon receiving an IRS robocall, you should:
- Hang up the phone momentarily—carrying on with the conversation can prompt more robocalls in the future
- Immediately report the scam call to firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure to put IRS Phone Scam as the subject of the email
- Reach out to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and report the call. You can either visit the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting webpage or dial 800-366-4484
- Report the call to the FTC (Federal Trading Commission) by visiting “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Remember to add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes section.
Be Careful During Tax Season
While IRS robocall scams circulate all year round, their number drastically increases during tax season. Transaction Network Services reported that on April 17, 2018, America witnessed the highest number of robocalls placed in a single day! More than 143 million robocalls were made that day, which is—incidentally—the national tax-filing deadline.
Other Common Robocall Scams
Although robocall scams have become prevalent in today’s society, some of them are more common and dangerous than others:
What It Entails
Government Grants scam
|Government Grants scams have rebooted many times over the past few years, but their narrative has remained the same. Scammers would call their victims and tell them that they have become eligible for free government money. The only caveat is that the victims are required to pay a small, one-time processing fee for the money to get transferred to their accounts. These processing fees are a surefire sign that you are dealing with a scam. When someone becomes eligible for a government grant, they are not required to pay any fees whatsoever.|
Google SEO scam
|Google SEO scammers mainly focus on small business owners and startups. They would call their victims and threaten to take their Google listings down if they do not pay the required SEO fees. If you receive a call like this, you will know that you are dealing with a scam because Google went on record and said that they never used automated calls to contact their customers.|
Social Security Administration scam
|Similar to the IRS robocall lawsuit scam, SSA scammers tell their victims that they have overdue tax bills that they need to pay ASAP. Unlike the IRS scammers, however, SSA fraudsters threaten to wipe out their victims’ Social Security numbers if they fail to cooperate. If you had an unsettled debt with the IRS, you would receive a notice via mail, not a threatening call!|
Understanding the Legal Side of Robocalls
Thanks to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the recent Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED), companies nowadays have to meet several requirements to place a legal robocall.
Here are a few examples of the said requirements:
- All calls have to be placed between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Numbers found on the National Do Not Call list cannot be dialed without written consent
- Callers have to provide proper identification
- Telemarketers have to allow you to revoke your consent when placing a robocall
The National Do Not Call Registry
If you want to report a robocall and put your number on the Do Not Call list, you are free to do it through the FTC’s Do Not Call website.
As long as your number is on the national registry, you can rest assured that no legal telemarketer will attempt to call you.
To report an unwanted call, you can:
- Visit the FTC’s Do Not Call website
- Select Report Unwanted Calls
- Provide details about the robocall you received
- Submit your request
If you are unsure how to check if a number is on the Do Not Call list, feel free to run through our extensive guide.
The Caller’s Identity Has to Be Disclosed
Whenever a telemarketer places an automated call, and the call gets picked up, the caller has to:
- Reveal his or her identity
- Reveal the identity of the company on whose behalf the call is being placed
As the conversation approaches its end, the caller needs to:
- Provide the company’s address
- Provide the company’s phone number
You Have the Right to Revoke Your Consent
Telemarketers need to provide you with an option to revoke your consent each time they robocall you. If you are left with a voicemail, it has to contain a toll-free, callback number that you can dial and place your number on the company’s do not call list.
If you are faced with a pre-recorded message when you pick up the phone, it has to allow you to press a certain number and opt-out of the company’s marketing calls.
Putting Robocalls to Good Use
Although IRS lawsuit robocalls are mostly annoying and dangerous, other robocalls can be put to good use. Here are two examples that showcase how useful robocalls can be when used properly:
- Robocalls are the least time-consuming solution for informing large groups of people when emergencies strike
- Schools can use robocalls and robo texts to inform students and parents about upcoming events
Using Robocalls to Get a Message Across
In times of emergency, acting fast is what matters the most. Here is how robocalls can potentially save lives:
- Companies can use robocalls to notify their workers about workplace fires, gas leakages, and other emergencies
- Weather stations can use robocalls and robo texts to inform whole communities about upcoming floods, tornadoes, blizzards, etc.
Getting Schooled by Robocalls
Plenty of schools in the United States use automated calls and text messages to quickly inform staff members, students, and parents about various events:
- Parents and students can get a reminder via a robocall of upcoming field trips and report card issuing
- If an emergency occurs, students, parents, and staff members can get notified about school closure through robocalls and robo texts
- Parents can receive notifications about their children’s absence from school via robocalls
- Schools can remind parents about their children’s low lunch balances
DoNotPay’s Way of Fighting IRS Lawsuit Robocalls
DoNotPay offers a unique way of dealing with robocall scams.
Instead of just blocking scam numbers, we think that making scammers pay for their misconduct is essential to ending the robocall epidemic.
Our app’s latest Robocall Revenge feature allows you to track down IRS robocall scammers and sue them for up to $3,000 in court settlements.
To start using our Robo Revenge service, open DoNotPay in a web browser.
Here is what DoNotPay’s way of fighting robocalls entails:
- You receive a scam robocall
- The caller tries to extort money or personal information from you
- You open DoNotPay and select Robo Revenge
- Our app generates a free virtual credit card for you
- You share the virtual credit card details with the scammer
- We track the con artist down based on the transaction details
- DoNotPay helps you write a dispute letter and file a robocall lawsuit against the scammer
DoNotPay’s Virtual Credit Card Service
Virtual credit cards are perfectly legal to use, and they are essential to fighting the good fight against robocallers.
Virtual credit cards allow us to:
- Track down the scammers when they try to charge your virtual account
- Prevent the fraudsters from getting their hands on your personal information
How to Deal With IRS Lawsuit Robocalls on a Landline
Most landlines in America use the so-called Voice over Internet Protocol technology. Because they are less anachronous than copper wire landlines and use up to date technology, VoIP landlines are compatible with the latest robocall blocking apps.
Our advice would be to opt for Normorobo, not only because it is free for VoIP landlines, but because it is widely regarded as one of the best robocall blocking apps today.
Nomorobo uses the “simultaneous ring” technology to help you ward off annoying robocalls.
Whenever your phone rings, Nomorobo gets the call as well. If the app picks up the call first, it runs the number through its system and checks if it is a scam number or not. If it turns out that you are dealing with an IRS lawsuit robocall fraudster, your phone will not ring the second time.
While it takes some time to get used to waiting for the second ring, the perks of using Nomorobo are simply invaluable.
Using Your Smartphone to Block IRS Lawsuit Robocalls
Thanks to modern smartphones, you no longer have to think long and hard about how to stop robocalls. Regardless of whether you are using an Android or iOS device, your phone allows you to block specific numbers or all unidentified calls.
Blocking Numbers on iOS Devices
If your iPhone is operating on iOS 13 or higher, you have the option to block a single number or silence all unknown callers.
To block a number on an iPhone, you have to:
- Open the Phone app
- Select Recents
- Tap on the info icon found next to the number you want to block
- Select Block this Caller
- Select Block Contact
To silence all unknown callers, you should:
- Go to Settings
- Select Phone
- Toggle on the Silence Unknown Callers switch
Blocking Numbers on Android Devices
Android devices allow you to block specific numbers as well as all unidentified numbers. To block a number on an Android smartphone, you need to:
- Open the Phone app
- Select Recent Contacts
- Tap on the number and select Block or Report as spam
- Confirm that you want to block the number
To block all unidentified numbers, you have to:
- Open the Phone app
- Select Settings
- Toggle on the Block Unidentified Numbers switch
Top-Tier Third-Party Robocall Blocking Apps for Combating the IRS Robocall Scam
One of the best strategies to fight back against robocalls is to install a robocall blocker on your smartphone. While large phone providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and others, provide robocall blocking services to their customers, third-party apps have proven to be much more reliable and efficient in dealing with these nuisances.
Some of the top-tier robocall blocking apps that you can use to block IRS lawsuit robocalls are:
Live Your Best Life With DoNotPay
Technology is supposed to serve you, not the other way around! DoNotPay offers you assistance when you want to lower your bills, get help paying bills, sue small companies in small claims court, cancel unused subscriptions, etc.
Our services are just a few clicks away! To start using them, open DoNotPay in a web browser, and start living your fuss-free best life! Apart from tracking down robocallers, DoNotPay can help you:
- Get refunds for delayed or canceled flights
- Contest parking tickets
- Fight speeding tickets
- Dispute traffic tickets
- Jump the phone queue when getting in touch with customer service reps
- Schedule a DMV appointment fast and easy
- Get revenge on other robocalls
- Sue people and companies in small claims court
- Deal with bills you are unable to pay
- Deal with credit card issues
- Cancel subscriptions or memberships