Better Business Bureau Sees a Huge Drop in Reports of IRS Scam Since Raid in India

By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | November 2, 2016

Mumbai police shut down call center and arrest 70 suspects.The top scam reported to the Better Business Bureau is the tax scam , which has accounted for about one in four reports to BBB Scam Tracker during its first year of operation. But BBB has seen a dramatic drop in new reports on this scam since police in Mumbai, India, raided a call center earlier this month. {{more}}The tax scam involves call center con artists posing as IRS agents in the U.S. and Canadian Revenue agents in Canada. They threaten their targets with financial penalties, lawsuits, and even arrest if they don’t pay the back taxes they supposedly owe. In a typical week, BBB Scam Tracker receives approximately 200 reports on tax scams. That number has dropped to just 11 reports of this scam in the past week, nearly a 95% decline. In Abilene, BBB receives dozens and dozens of calls on a daily basis; since the raid there have been very few phone calls. [Go to bbb.org/taxscam for BBB’s tips and a recording of a tax scam robocall]“We are delighted with this news,” said Steve Abel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau. “We appreciate the efforts of the Mumbai police and the law enforcement agencies they worked with to close down this operation that has cost American and Canadian consumers millions of dollars.” [[more]]“To immediately see the success of this raid reflected in our BBB Scam Tracker data is really remarkable, and validates our belief in the importance of using reports from the public to better understand the scam landscape” notes Emma Fletcher, manager of BBB Scam Tracker. “But we know from past experience that scammers are opportunists. Hopefully this crew won’t be stealing from anyone again for a long while. But we will be keeping an eye on incoming scam reports so we can alert consumers what the ‘next big thing’ in scams turns out to be.”According to news reports, there were 770 employees working at the Mumbai call center when the midnight raid was conducted; 70 were charged with fraud and other crimes as a result of the raid.The 24 / 7 call center generated millions of robo calls into the US. The robo call gave a “call back” number the taxpayer was to call to take care of a faked problem. These call back numbers changed on a daily basis, sometimes hourly. Indian police seized large computer servers, hard drives, and phone equipment they also arrested 70 that were charged with fraud and other crimes. The tax scam also known as the IRS Scam has been the top scam reported to BBB for the past several years. Before the raid in India, BBB received dozens of reports on the IRS Scam on a daily basis. There are many local taxpayers that have lost money in this scam. BBB urges anyone that may have lost money to report the loss to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.tigta.gov BBB warns taxpayers do not let your guard down. While some call centers have been raided, crooks arrested and reports about this scam are down, we fear there are other call centers in foreign places ready to steal money from Americans. BBB is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. Please contact Better Business Bureau at 691-1533 or bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.