Major Bust in Transnational IRS Phone Scam - NBC Bay Area
Holding the powerful accountable

SEND TIPS888-996-8477

Major Bust in Transnational IRS Phone Scam

The Department of Justice on Thursday charged 61 people for their role in a call center scam.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Federal prosecutors charged 61 individuals and entities across the world Thursday in connection to a transnational call center operation that investigators say scammed United States residents out of millions. The arrests follow a three-year joint investigation between the Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), and the US Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration. Senior Investigative Reporter Stephen Stock reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Federal prosecutors charged 61 individuals and entities across the world Thursday in connection to a transnational call center operation that investigators say scammed United States residents out of millions. The arrests follow a three-year joint investigation between the Department of Justice, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), and the US Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration.

    NBC Bay Area has been following these scams for years, where a caller posing as a federal agent threatens the person on the other line with arrests, lawsuits or worse, if they do not pay up.

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell called Thursday’s arrests a major breakthrough.

    “This is the first ever multi-jurisdictional enforcement action targeting the Indian call center scam industry,” Caldwell said.

    IRS Phone Scam Targeting California

    [BAY] IRS Phone Scam Targeting California
    The phone rings. The caller is from the IRS. He says you filed your taxes incorrectly. You owe the government money and must pay immediately or risk arrest. What do you do? Stephen Stock reports in a video that aired on July 16, 2014.
    (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Twenty people were arrested in eight states throughout the country. Another 32 people were busted in India, where this operation was based. Several suspects are still at large, including a man who was last seen in Oakland.

    Federal agents believe the number of victims exceeds 10,000 and the amount of money lost is in the hundreds of millions.

    “They laundered money using prepaid debit cards using info from id theft victims,” Caldwell said.

    Even with Thursday’s crackdown, federal agents believe there are many other operations using this same telephone threatening technique to get people to send them money.

    That’s why they are putting out brochures, warning everyone that federal agents will never call demanding money.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android