Lessons in Social Engineering: This time it was the IRS

***Based on actual events. Some details have been altered or enhanced for entertainment purposes.***

Taking a break from stories centered on “Microsoft;” the IRS is the focus of today’s topic. Last year I received a number of automated phone calls from the IRS, urging me to contact them right away or legal action would be taken. I thought these calls were a little strange and ignored them at first. After receiving a few more calls, I decided to return their phone call. First, I did an Internet search to find out how the IRS contacts people when there are issues regarding tax refunds. Sure enough, I found a lot of articles warning people of scam artists calling people around tax season. For the record, the IRS WILL NEVER contact you by phone if there is a problem with your taxes. They’ll notify you by U.S. Mail. Should you receive a call like this one you can report it here.

On one particular day, when I was bored and needed to talk to anyone who was an adult – even scammers – because I have lots of days like this:

I called the number the “IRS” instructed me to call.

Scammer: Internal Revenue Service. What is your name?

Me: My name is Hermoine Hogwart Marvel. What is this call regarding?

Scammer: We suspect there has been some fraudulent activity surrounding your tax refund. It’s probably nothing, but if you refuse to cooperate we’ll have no choice but to take legal action against you.

Me: Oh wow. That sounds serious.

Scammer: Yes ma’am. It’s very serious. I have a number of questions I’ll need you to answer today.

Me: Over the phone?

Scammer: Yes.

Me: I’d rather not. Is there some way you could just mail me a form to fill out and send back?

Scammer: I’m afraid not. This is a very serious matter and if you don’t cooperate, we’ll send police to your residence to arrest you.

Me: In which case, my defense team will request copies of any and all evidence against me which will include the list of questions you want me to answer. Wouldn’t it be easier just to send me a form to fill out?

Scammer (sighing on the other line): Fine. I’ll send you the paperwork and then in three days, I will call you back and you will give me the information I need over the phone. What’s your address?

Me: It’s 1111 Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C. 20224.

[End Call]

It might not seem like the most interesting telephone conversation but the question remains: Whose address did I give to the IRS scammers?

 

 

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20 thoughts on “Lessons in Social Engineering: This time it was the IRS

  1. Who knows? But maybe these fake/false IRS Scammers can figure out why the dude with the Orange hair in the Oval Office has not paid any taxes in ten years. Or maybe they can contact him on Twitter since he enjoys governing via the Twitterverse!! Best yet take away his Twitter Account!! LOL!! 🙂 😀 <3

  2. You could have directed them to Room 2501 for Criminal Investigations. Or, you could send the phone number to the address you provided, specifying Room 2501, so they would investigate.

    As I age I worry more and more about scammers. Thank goodness I have people like you to help warn me.

  3. I would have loved to have seen their scamy little faces when they found the address.
    ‘Fiendish tip’: Phone goes, after the first few words your senses alert you to a scam call.
    You: (best official grim voice) ‘How did you come by this phone number sir/madam?’ (tap the receive three times with a pen)
    Them: Blah-blah-blah. (You tap the phone another three times).
    You: That may be sir/madam. I must advise you this is actually a secure government phone line. (tap the receiver another three times) Unauthorized access is potentially a federal offence. We have traced your phone number and will be in contact,
    If they do phone again……play innocent to the previous call.
    That should mess with their minds.

  4. Ha ha ha. You’re inspiring. My head is spinning with all kinds of ideas for annoying scammers: making them wait incredibly long periods of time while I look up fake information, pretending I’m cooking and run the blender in the phone, trying to get them to contribute money to my cult. Oh, the possibilities. Thanks for the fun post.

  5. This is hilarious. A friend of our kept them going for days. They wanted a check, he told them he would be happy to give them cash, but that his car was broken and could they come get it? They waited a day or so called him back. He came up with another excuse. Finally he called them and asked them if they liked the way he was wasting their time. This is after building up about three or four days of conversation. He told the guy he was stealing and going to go to hell. He said, “Get up right now and leave your desk. You are stealing from people, and you need to stop it right now. How would you like it if your wife got a call like this and you came home and all the money was gone from your account? You are going to go to hell for this if you don’t repent and stop it.” The guy held on for about 15 minutes. Jack heard some sniffing. He doesn’t know what happened to the caller, but they never called him again. 🙂 Thanks for standing up to them, A. Marie. I’m sure they didn’t pester the person on Constitution Avenue. 🙂

      1. I know. Who knows. 🙂 You might send a letter to that address and ask! 🙂 It would make a good follow up comment or story. 🙂

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