Attempted fraud by telephone is very common and becoming worse every day. Scammers threaten people with lawsuits, liens, and even arrest if they don’t pay an alleged debt. Unfortunately, scamming is highly successful, and this makes some scammers relentless. Many use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to camouflage the number they are actually calling from, making it look as if they are located somewhere they are not. They may even leave a callback number, but if you dial that number you are unwittingly being routed to a boiler room somewhere that is likely not even located anywhere near the identifiable area code.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide are aware of this epidemic, but unfortunately these types of criminals are nearly impossible to find. If you or someone you know ever falls victim to one of these scams, please call your local law enforcement agency to report it. If you live out of state and the number the scammer left with you appears to be a Bainbridge Island number, you will want to contact your local law enforcement agency to report it (crimes are always determined to have been committed where the crime actually takes place). If you were defrauded over the phone and you live in Florida, it means the crime took place in Florida regardless of where the criminal happens to be operating from. Your local law enforcement agency will contact other agencies during the course of their investigation if they feel it is warranted.
Here’s an interesting article on how scammers use VoIP to stay hidden in the shadows and another article from Pindrop Security pertaining specifically to the IRS scam. Also, please report these attempts to defraud at the federal level through the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and directly to the IRS.