The Department of Justice announced today the arrest of 61 people in the U.S and in India for the perpetration of an unusually successful scam. The calls to individuals threatened them with lawsuits unless the person paid up.
The money, in most cases, is lost. The overseas conspirators, including call centers in India, used methods of transferring cash that made it generally undetectable.
The operator would threaten potential victims, the government alleges, and if the operator found someone who believed the call was real, co-conspirators would work to extract money from the victim.
“One 85-year-old California woman was threatened over nonexistent tax violations,” NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports. “Prosecutors say she turned over $12,000 to the scammers.”
The IRS will not call a taxpayer; if contact is needed, they will send a letter via USPS postal mail. See more information on the case here.