Last week (10/3/2016) I got a phone call at lunch. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voice mail. After lunch I checked and it was the last part of a recorded message telling me there was a warrant for my arrest and my home address was under investigation.
Well, being the paragon of virtue that I am I wanted to call back this obviously legit number to find out the details. I mean how can you doubt the veracity of a robo-message telling you that you’re going to be arrested? I’m sure that kind of thing is completely legal.
My first call back I was greeted by a guy who just said, “Hello.” I asked where I had called and he hung up on me. That’s professional. I called back and spoke to a Robert Matthews who had a very thick Indian accent. I asked where I was calling and he said it was the Department of Treasury. He asked for my name and I gave it to him. I don’t think my name is unique enough to be concerned about giving it out. He then asked when I last paid my taxes. That’s a strange question for them to ask. Particularly without any supporting information. Like I said, my name isn’t unique. How would he know he was speaking to the right guy? But I suspect any guy is the right guy. I told him I always pay my taxes since I was 18 years old. He seemed to think I meant I hadn’t paid since I was 18. I corrected him. He then said that I owed more money on my 2012 taxes. I told him that I was confused why that would be since I got a refund on my taxes for that year. He asked, “Why would the government give you a refund on taxes?” I thought that was weird. I said I get refunds every year on my taxes. He informed me that the government doesn’t give refunds on taxes. I responded by telling him that nearly everyone gets refunds on their taxes.
He hung up on me.
I called back and this time spoke with an Eric. I told him I had just been speaking to Mr. Matthews and we got disconnected. He asked me to hold. After a couple of minutes he came back on the line and asked what Mr. Matthews had told me. So I relayed the conversation I had with him and then stated that it didn’t seem like Mr. Matthews was familiar with the tax refund process. I then asked Eric if he was familiar with the refund process.
Again, the line went dead.
Well wanting to make sure I got this cleared up I called back. I spoke to the “supervisor” and he told me they had called me by mistake. I asked how that happened. He told me by mistake and then hung up.
I had a good laugh about it with my coworkers and went on with my day.
Well the next day my boss got a similar call from another number. I decided to call back my number again. I don’t recall the name I got on the phone when I called back. This guy was a bit more aggressive. After I gave him my name he told me that I owed taxes from years 2009-2015. In an attempt to clarify I asked what address they have for me. He told me they didn’t have that kind of information. Just my name and the case information. That’s strange. You’d think the documents they had would include my address. He then told me I owed $5,000 and if I didn’t settle it on the phone I would be arrested in 45 minutes. I then again questioned the lack of documentation he had and he told me the police would bring the evidence with them, have a 30 minute meeting with me then arrest me. He then hung up on me.
Well an hour went by and I hadn’t been arrested yet so I called the number back and they are no longer taking calls at that number. Weird that the Treasury Department would stop taking calls to their investigation department. I think it might have been a scam.
BTW, the number, if you’re interested was 202-795-5729.