Drop in telemarketer complaints after raid

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS — Reports to the attorney general’s office about the IRS imposter scam have dropped since a raid last month.

The office received nearly 500 complaints in September, but that decreased to 67 in October after police in India broke up the telemarketing ring. In early October, Indian police arrested 70 people in Mumbai. In late October, the Justice Department arrested 20 people in the United States who are accused of being co-conspirators.

In the scam, callers claim to be with the IRS and demand immediate payment of past-due taxes. Scammers often threaten jail time if the payment is not received immediately.

“The criminal enforcement actions in India and the U.S. have provided Hoosiers much appreciated relief. But these scams are like Whack-a-Mole, and I expect we will see another one pop up in its place,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement. “Hoosiers can’t let their guard down and need to continue to be vigilant in not offering their personal or financial information when contacted by phone.”

So far this year nearly 3,500 complaints were filed about the IRS imposter scam. Other major phone scams include the offering credit services and tech support services.

Zoeller recommends Hoosiers join the Do Not Call list. Legitimate companies do not call numbers on the Do Not Call list, meaning if you receive an unsolicited phone call, it is likely a scam.

The next deadline to sign up for Do Not Call list is midnight Tuesday. The updated list will take effect Jan. 1, 2017. To sign up, visit IndianaConsumer.com.

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