I answered the phone. It directed me to call the IRS immediately. I called the number and identified myself. I was given a case number. The officer told me his name. I wrote it down. I made him stop and spell it carefully. I noted his badge number. He then told me that a warrant for my arrest had been issued. Local officials would be coming to arrest me. I would have to post bond. The IRS was going to freeze my bank accounts. They said I had been audited and had filled out my taxes incorrectly. That means I had committed a federal offense. This was a serious case. I would have to adjudicate the charges in Washington D.C. They told me I owed $4256.23.
They wanted an immediate answer. I could pay the amount which included penalties right now. Upon receiving the amount they would cancel the warrants or I could get arrested and fight it in the courts. It would be expensive and embarrassing. I was told anything I said on the phone was being recorded and would be used in my prosecution. The officer demanded that I tell him what I was going to do next.
I told that I was first going to call the IRS number listed on the IRS website to see if this was a legitimate call, which I doubted. Then, I said, if it was a legitimate call I would contact an attorney and would not answer any questions until I had consulted him. Finally, I told the officer that I was going to call the local officials because I knew them and check on the status of the arrest warrants. I would go turn myself in if necessary to avoid the hassle. The officer got unhappy and hung up on me.
I immediately typed "IRS fraud" into Google and found the page explaining this scam. I documented the encounter and submitted my report. Later, I got another similar call from a different number in a different area code. It went to voicemail. It says in part that if I want to "avoid initial appearance before a magistrate judge of a grand jury" then I must call immediately. I did not call.
People use fear. It worked on my for awhile in the conversation. My heart raced. I thought through the long hours of tax preparation, I do my own, and had to admit that maybe I made a mistake. Maybe this was somehow true. During the call my heart began to slow as my mind began to engage. It just did not add up. I became more and more convinced that it was a scam, but the guy was good. I have heard noises outside my door a couple of times and thought, "OK they are coming to get me."
The Bible says, "Fear not" Is 41:10. It's just really hard sometimes. What fear comes, I rehearse in my mind what i know to be true. I'm loved. While I was a sinner lost in sin, I have been redeemed, my debt has been paid in full and I am free. Satan keeps making the same call, Jesus keeps calming me down.