US scam robocalls on the rise as Tax Day approaches

China Daily | April 15, 2019

"I'm calling from the IRS, you owe us thousands of dollars on your taxes. If you don't pay it now, the local police will come to your house and arrest you." Millions of people living in the US have received this type of robocall impersonation of employees of the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, as the deadline for filing US taxes falls on April 15. "What happens is that these people will tell you, 'I'm from the IRS, and you owe us money, you have to pay it right away by debit card, bitcoin or by wire'," Claire Rosenzweig, president of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, told China Daily. "If they say they're from Social Security, they might say that your Social Security number has been involved with a crime. It's not true. The main thing when you get a call like that is to hang up." Nearly 48 billion robocalls were made to US residents last year, according to a Federal Communications Commission report released in February. Nearly 50 percent of those calls were from scammers. The report also noted that the number of complaints about illegal robocalls has been increasing, jumping from 172,000 in 2015 to 232,000 in 2018.

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