COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Recording: "Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service."
The recording took Linda Shane by surprise.
She said, “I think my heart might have even skipped a beat."
Recording: “The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you."
Linda told me, “I'm a good gal. I don't want to get in trouble here."
For a few months, the dreaded IRS scam phone calls dropped off. But now viewers tell me they've started up again. TIGTA, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, confirms this, saying it's probably because it's tax season.
Officials in Washington just shared the latest numbers with me. In the last week, they've been notified of 5,000 calls netting 22 new victims. They're people who were scared and reacted, giving money to impostors, who were posing as IRS agents.
The total numbers are mind-boggling. In the last few years, close to 2 million calls have been made. Of those, more than 10,000 people have lost close to $55 million.
Linda said, “I think it's really unfortunate. Nobody wants to lose any money to fraud."
So, no matter what the message...
Recording: “Please call us immediately at 845-363-5385."
...Don't believe a word of what you hear. If the IRS believes you owe money, you'll never get a message like this. You'll get a notice in the mail, giving you time to respond. If you get a suspicious call, don't call back. Do what Linda did, go online and report it to TIGTA. Authorities are actively shutting down the numbers that are reported by you.