That IRS robo-call you’ve just received? It’s not the IRS.

If you live in North Texas you’ve probably received a robo-call with this message:

The reason for this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call on our department number, 509-643-4427.

What’s the first clue that this message is bogus? The primary clue: the IRS never calls you, and definitely not via an ambiguous robo-call. If you’re in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, you’ll be notified in writing.  According to this article the 509-643-4427 phone number is a Spokane, Washington number, but any phone calls to and from that number most likely do not originate from Washington state.  Byron Harris of WFAA Dallas-Ft. Worth contacted the scammers at the Spokane, Washington number:

“Thank you for calling to the Internal Revenue Service,” a voice answered in broken English. “How may I assist you?”

Audible in the background were the murmur of other voices, also on the phone.

The man was intent on getting a number from me, “to pull out your case file,” he said.

He said he was located in Washington, D.C., and could not explain the Spokane area code.

When we questioned him further, he hung up.

Hmm. Couldn’t explain the Spokane area code. I guess the scammers hadn’t anticipated that question, but I’ll bet they’re busy cooking up an answer for addition to their “script.”

This scam may have been documented in Texas, but this particular scam may be happening everywhere, so be on the alert. Remember, government agencies are NOT going to contact you via phone, ONLY in writing. So, if you ever receive a call like this, calm down and ignore it. These types of scams rely on the fear factor, nothing more. These calls are no different than phishing emails. Your bank is not going to email you; PayPal is not going to email you. So, delete these messages from your phones and computer with nary a worry.