So, remember the Legal Affairs Department of the United States Treasury scam from a while back?
Well, they're back, and evidently they've been listening to their critics. (Well, not the part where their critics point out that they're bad people, and that they need to stop what they're doing and find a better way to live. No, they're just listening to the parts where their critics have pointed out obvious flaws in their delivery.)
I just got a message from the "I.R.S." ("Internal Revenue Service") explaining that this was their final notice, and they were suing me. So, this time they've actually got the correct government agency. They've also got a passably well-spoken robot voice reading the script, instead of that one woman with the nearly-indecipherable accent.
So, how would you know this was a scam?
1. The I.R.S. will never call you up to tell you that they're initiating legal action. Government agencies simply don't work that way. You'll receive a proper legal notice, on real, physical paper, that you can touch and hold and keep for your records.
2. The computer voice left a phone number with a 206 area code (Seattle, if you're curious), but no additional information: no case number, no contact name, no reference, no directions for how to look up the details of your case on the I.R.S. website. Again, government agencies simply don't work that way. They simply don't ever call you up and try to scare you into calling them back. No, not even in Obama's America, not even with the End of Days rapidly approaching. They just don't. They've invested millions of dollars in their websites and databases, and they will direct you to those resources if at all possible. The more citizens who get their information online, the fewer employees the agency has to keep around (and keep paying) to answer the phones. This message was far too generic to be real.
3. Government agencies sure as hell don't use robo-calls to initiate legal action against people. Nobody does. There are reasons for this.
4. This is my "final notice" but also somehow the first I've heard of it? Nonsense. Again, they're trying to scare people into not thinking clearly. And it probably works, at least enough to make it profitable.
I'm tempted to call them up under an assumed name, preferably from a payphone (if I can find one) or a disposable cell phone (if I can't). Not tempted enough to actually do it, but tempted. I'm sure it's naive, but I'd like to explain that they're doing bad things in the service of bad people; that they need to stop doing this, and find a better way to live. There's always the hope, right?