Dan Rattiner's Stories

FBI Comes Calling: Tax Return Phone Scam Reaches the Hamptons

Don’t you call them back. They might think they gotcha. I took the risk for you. Another service of Dan’s Papers.

A scary phone call came in on my cell phone yesterday. A recording spoke the moment I picked it up.

“This is the FBI. We have now received notice about the two serious omissions in your last tax return. You have five days to send us the money due us and if we don’t receive it then you will be arrested by the local police. Now…”

I hung up.

I am mentioning this as a public service. If you get this call and have made the two serious omissions on your tax return, you better get going to make it right in the next 72 hours. But if you have not made the two serious omissions, then don’t believe them. Hang up.

Later in the day, I got a repeat performance from “the FBI.” This time I noticed the phone number of the incoming call. It was 929-268-1029. So, since they already had my number, I called it back.

I publish now the conversation I had, this time again as a public service. Don’t you call them back. They might think they gotcha. I took the risk for you. Another service of Dan’s Papers.

“Hello?” a voice said. It had a heavy eastern European accent.

“Who is this?” I asked.

He mumbled something.

“You just called me. I’m calling you back. So who is this?”

“The IRS,” he said, carefully saying those letters with this thick accent. I point out here that earlier this was the FBI.

Then I said the following. I don’t know why I said it.

“Thank you. I really don’t want any.” And then I hung up. I guess my instinctive good manners seeped through.

I then tried turning these folks in by calling the authorities and giving them this phone number. During the next 20 minutes I spoke to the telephone company, the real FBI, the real IRS, the local police, ICE and the Consumer Fraud Bureau. All of them thanked me for the call. All referred me to some other agency, except for the Consumer Fraud Bureau.

They asked if I actually lost any money. I hadn’t lost any money. They pointed out that if I hadn’t lost any money there was no crime committed, because in America free speech is protected.

On the other hand, they said they would step in if I had lost money, but if I had not I should go to their website and download a form and fax it back to them and they would file it.

It’s nice when you know there are people out there protecting our Constitutional rights.

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