A letter to an IRS tax fraud phone scam

Feb. 24, 2015

Dear Officer Eric of the "Internal Revenue Service" - Badge number 0242781- phone number (240) 292-0196,

You called the wrong number.


-Me, the one who's making your phone number public knowledge.

It's apparently a classic scam now-a-days: call people up with an automated message saying to call a particular number back (240-292-0196 if you're interested). The person answering informs you of their name, a badge number, and the fact that you are calling the criminal investigation department of the IRS.

They then prey on people claiming unpaid taxes "under a malicious intent" for thousands of dollars. He informs that the local sheriff will be stopping by for a visit. At that time I'll be handed a subpoena, an affidavit, a non-bail warrant for my arrest, and a nice shiny new pair of handcuffs. Oh, and that my funds will be frozen, my house taken, etc. etc. Officer Eric tries to be stern. My guess is its an act to play into the the stereotypes of what people "think" law enforcement sound like over the phone.

Then I'm given the option to handle this either the bad way or nice way - both I'm assuming are horrible choices. The bad way involved 5 years of jail time, frozen accounts, etc. etc. The nice way was to hold while he speaks with his supervisor. At this time I had my local police department (non-emergency line) on my other phone. They then confirm that it's a scam and that they've been getting other reports in like mine.

I then hung up.

A few minutes later, however, "Officer Eric" calls back using a private number acting hurt and angry that I hadn't waited as long as he wanted me to. Here's how it went as accurate as I can remember:

"Hi Jonathan?"


"This is Officer Eric, I asked you before to wait on the line."

I interrupt him now, "Yes you did, and I didn't."

My point

Please be aware of this scam and others like it. If concerned citizens like myself contact your department, please be as helpful as my PD was. I'm sure there's not much that can be done, but truth be told being informed that you're going to be sued by the government is quite rattling.

Thank you.

And be safe.

About the Author

Jonathan Kozlowski

Jonathan Kozlowski was with Officer.com, Law Enforcement Technology, and Law Enforcement Product News from August 2006 to 2020.

As former Managing Editor for Officer Media Group, he brought a dedicated focus to the production of the print publications and management of the Officer.com online product and company directory. You can connect with Jonathan through LinkedIn.

Jonathan participated as a judge for the 2019 and 2020 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards. In 2012, he received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Technology & Science Writing category for his article on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in police work, aptly titled "No Runway Needed".

He typically does not speak in the third person.

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