Chesterton Tribune



Indiana AG: IRS phone scam complaints plummet after raid in Mumbai, India

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Of the 3,500 telephone privacy complaints made to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office in 2016, the most predominant has been the IRS impostor scam.

But--according to a statement released by the AG’s Office on Thursday--following a raid last month in India which disrupted a telemarketing ring, complaints have dropped from nearly 500 in September to just 67 in October.

The second and third most common complaints: phone scams offering credit services and tech support services.

In early October, Indian police arrested 70 people in Mumbai believed responsible for the so-called Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impostor scam, the statement said. A few weeks later, the U.S. Justice Department arrested 20 alleged co-conspirators in this country.

The scam, certainly, was scary enough: callers claiming to be IRS agents demanded payment of past-due taxes, often threatening arrest and jail time if the payment were not made immediately using pre-paid cards.

“The criminal enforcement actions in India and the U.S. have provided Hoosiers much appreciated relief,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “But these scams are like Whack-a-Mole, and I expect we will see another one pop up in its place.

Hoosiers can’t let their guard down and need to continue to be vigilant in not offering their personal or financial information when contacted by phone.

It just isn’t reliable or safe to assume someone trustworthy is contacting you.”

More than 14,000 Hoosiers have complained to the AG’s Office about unwanted calls this year, an increase of nearly 1,000 complaints from all of 2015, most of them attributable to the IRS scam.

The best way for people to know whether a call is a scam is by registering their number on the Do Not Call list. Legitimate companies will not call numbers on the Do Not Call list, so if someone is on the list and is receiving unsolicited contact, it is likely a scam, Zoeller noted.

The next quarterly deadline to register cellular and landline residential phone numbers on the Do Not Call list is 11 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15. The updated list will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.


Posted 11/11/2016




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