India is a hub for call center support for many companies’ customer service. It also is a center for phony IRS phone calls in which the caller, claiming to be an IRS representative, demands immediate payment of overdue taxes and threatens dire repercussions if the payment is not paid.  I reported to you in October of 2016 when Indian police raided three buildings in a Mumbai suburb and arrested 70 people they allege to have managed approximately 600 people who made thousands of calls each day to the United States posing as IRS agents demanding money.  This particular call center had been operating for about a year before an informant went to police a few weeks earlier.  Posing as the IRS, the scam call center sent out approximately 10,000 text messages to unsuspecting Americans prompting their victims to call the scammers who identified themselves as IRS employees named Christopher or Daniel.  Authorities are estimating that this particular IRS scam call center took in as much as $150,000 every day.
Now Misteshkumar Patel of Illinois pleaded guilty to money laundering and other crimes related to this scam.  Patel managed a group of six people in the United States that used reloadable money cards sent by the scam victims and bank accounts of the criminals to move and hide the money gained through this fraud.  He will be sentenced on March 7, 2018.
This scam is easy to avoid.  Don’t trust your Caller ID because using a technique called spoofing, a scammer can make his or her call appear to be from the IRS on your Caller ID.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  The easiest way to recognize if a call from the IRS demanding money is a scam is to be aware of the fact that the IRS will never initiate contact with a taxpayer to collect overdue taxes by a phone call, email or text message. Any such communication is from a scammer so you should just ignore it. Additionally, unlike the IRS, the scammers often ask that payments be made with iTunes gift cards or other reloadable money cards, which is something that the IRS will never do.