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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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I just received an automated phone call from the IRS stating

Customer Question

I just received an automated phone call from the IRS stating that they have submitted charges against me and have a lawsuit against me. I was instructed to immediately call them at(###) ###-#### I did try to call this number that they gave me but it gave a busy signal, as if they were experiencing a circuit busy. They number comes up as a New York phone number, but I have no idea what city. I tried calling legitimate IRS numbers that I got off their website but everything is a computer... I thought that maybe it was another identity theft going on until I read about the scams going on. I had two social security checks stolen in 2006 and have had three ID thefts since then, and not that long ago. I have not received anything from the IRS by mail at all. I am on Social Security Disability and do not make enough to even pay any taxes, I do not own a home or property or work (I'm very disabled) and have not inherited any great amount. When President Bush gave $300.00 stimulus checks to everyone, I finally filled out the forms that were sent, basically because they sent something like 12-15 letters. I found out that I had an ID theft in Florida, because some male using my SS#, and my name JoBeth Hiatt-Wesen... I never received the stimulus at all. I had to go into Ft Worth, to that office and prove who I was, with documents. I thought that this idiot using my name, even Jo, was like the Johnny Cash song "A boy named Sue". How stupid...Jo is a girls name and Joe is a boys name, and JoBeth is most definitely a female name. I called the IRS automated and one of the options I used and put in my social security number and they asked for my number to my address and it said that they have no information...but, I don't really know what to do. It could be a scam or and ID theft/fraud... I don't want to ignore it and get in trouble for not calling, but I know the IRS knows where everyone lives, if they are using their correct name, and the Social Security Administration and Medicare know...but I'm still worried. Can someone please answer me and put my mind at ease? If you need a contact phone number it is ************. Thank you, JoBeth ******
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

It is hoax. The IRS has published announcement to warn taxpayers.

I will give you soon a complete response. This one is to send you a fast response to comfort you for now.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Good sense. Yes, this is a scam. Ignore them.

IRS has put out public notices to warn the public on scams like this.

Additionally, I have a little benefit -- I used to work for the IRS. However, here are some general rules.

1) The IRS agent has to identify themselves, and they are not allowed to leave sensitive information on any voicemail. That is, they cannot say why they called just in case any non-taxpayer hear the message.

2) Basically, the IRS almost never brings a lawsuit against a taxpayer. The taxpayers bring lawsuit against the IRS if they disagree with the IRS. The IRS does not bring lawsuit, it has to use U.S. Department of Treasury through U.S. District Attorneys' Office.

3) I will not be able to differentiate without my background. What I usually do is to keep the voicemail, research on line, waiting for the person to call me again. Sometimes, I call back to see who called me. -- That is not a good idea. But I have to admit that sometimes, it caught my curiosity. That is not good. In today's situation, for any strange telephone numbers, I usually check on line to see what this number is ***** before I decide to return call or not, or whether to pick up the phone next time or not.

4) I call the Police Department or the Sheriff Department to verify. I have also my clients call me to verify.

5) I also know that if a person engages in conversation with them, they actually have part of the social security number. They can even guess about how much money they can get from this person.

These types of scams have data bases they purchase. When we hear about some organization has their data broken into, the stolen database is likely actually sold to others. So, the scam caller can do mess calling with real and updated information.

Please feel free to follow up.