We wanted to alert you to a scam we’ve become aware of.
An investor in Atlanta received a phone call from an individual posing as an IRS agent. The impostor said they were going to come and take the investor and his wife to jail for filing fraudulent tax returns in 2006 and 2009. The scheme was very sophisticated. The frightened investor was on the phone for three hours as he talked to and was transferred to three different people—supposedly an IRS agent, an attorney, and an arresting officer. He was told he needed to go buy government bonds to pay the liability. They said they were going to freeze his bank accounts, contact his employer’s HR department to garnish his wages, and tell the HR department that they had a criminal working for them. His only chance to avoid the embarrassment was to get the money within two hours. They gave him a case number and a phone number to call when he had the money.
The above approach is only one variation of similar strategies to defraud individuals. It’s hard to think straight when you’re under pressure by multiple individuals. This link will open an IRS publication that offers a few tactics on how to recognize a criminal posing as the IRS and how react. For example, the IRS would never call and demand immediate payment.
If you do receive a call that’s suspicious, ask for a callback number and then don’t hesitate to call us to get a second pair of eyes and ears involved. It’s easier to think straight when you have a partner.
Your Cornerstone Team