Fake Government Agencies - How to Recognize Them and How to Report Them
If you received an email, letter or phone call from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) and it instructs you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, or follow a link and enter information - don't believe it! The U.S. government would never instruct anyone to use those methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, particularly with an overseas bank or agency.
There are many scams circulating right now, including those using the names of the FBI and the IRS.
Here are some examples of these scams. And see this page for the IRS's own list of the top 12 tax scams.
How to Recognize a Fake Government Agency
Let's look at some actual situations, experiences and in some cases, emails people received and see how we can spot that they are scams.
Sample Government Agency Scams
- "The Department of Homeland Security, Washington And Swan Federal Bureau Of Investigation FBI" tell you to "Contact DHL COURRIER NEW YORK", Cisse Mouila, DR NEAL MORAN at firstname.lastname@example.org
- FBI Scams - Robert Swan Meuller III
- FBI - Anti-Terrorist and Monitory Crimes Division, "This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly Investigated by the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you are having an illegal Transaction with Imposters..."
- Federal Reserve - "Important suspicious activity"
- IRS scam: "we have resolved every requirement concerning the release of your worth $10.5 Million US Dollars which came from Africa"
- IRS Scam - Fake "stimulus payment"
- IRS Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service
- IRS Scams - Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service
- Fake Refund Phone Call from the Internal Revenue Service, Marketing@massiveinc.com, "Your Treasury Department FCU account is expired, for renewal please call us toll free 818-462-5049"
- IRS Scams - "A complaint has been filled against the company you are affiliated to, from Mr. Lincoln Jameson"
- From the IRS - "A complaint has been filed against the company you are affiliated to" by "Mr. David Newman"
- IRS Scams - Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service - Notification of Tax Refund on your VISA or MasterCard Now
- IRS Fake refund notice: John Stewart, "US Internal Revenue Service Notice"
- IRS.GOV Agent #727 at the IRS, "As part of new requirements from the IRS, all U.S. Citizens are required by law to update their computers with new tax software."
- Fake Refund Email from the Internal Revenue Service, "Subject: Get Your Annual Tax Refund"
If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent a political party or elected official, take down their information, including the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account number, passport number, etc.
Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the person or party they claim to represent and call them , as we did. Ask them if this group represents them. In some cases, they may well be legitimate, but you won't know if you don't check on them first.
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!
How to Report aall types of FBI, IRS and tax scams:
In the United States contact:
U.S. Secret ServicePhone: (202) 435'5850
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20223
Fax: (202) 435'5031
Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.
Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.