COMMENTARY: Scam Alert: It’s not the IRS!

IRS calls are fake – do not answer or hang up

My answering machine received a robot-call this morning claiming to be from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and threatening to freeze my bank accounts if I did not call them back, it was my “last warning” or something like that and they left a call back number.

These calls are fake, they are just looking for a sucker; the IRS does not work like that, if you hear that message on an answering machine do not pick up or just hang up if you have answered. Do not press any buttons and do not speak to anyone – just hang up.

This and other scams use cash cards, wire transfers, and similar methods to steal your money and here is how it works: They will direct you to pay them by buying a cash card of some type and give them the number over the phone or doing a wire transfer. They will withdraw the funds at the other end within a few minutes and you will never get the money back.

Remember do not buy anything over the phone or pay for anything unless you called the known merchant FIRST. Even then, make sure you know who you are dealing with before using a credit card. If possible, NEVER use cash cards or wire transfers for any transactions, they are generally untraceable which is an invitation to steal.

One last thing: warn your friends and relatives.


Marty Richman

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Marty (Martin G.) spent his teen years in northern New Jersey. He served more than 22 years on active military duty, mostly in Europe, and is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nuclear Weapons Technical Officer. Marty then worked 25 years in various engineering and management positions in the electronics and energetic materials industries supporting the communications, computer, aerospace, defense and automotive sectors. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, from The College of Hard Knocks, among his numerous awards and accomplishments. He was a regular weekly Op/Ed columnist and feature writer for The Hollister Free Lance for seven years and a member of its editorial board for five years. Marty is a frequent commentator and contributor to BenitoLink on a wide variety of local, state, national and international subjects.   Marty was elected to represent the City of Hollister District 4 on the City Council in November, 2018. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Hollister since 1996.