This week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it will recommence its collaboration with private debt collectors. The initiative comes at a time when more and more Americans are being tricked by fake government agents who extort money from gullible taxpayers. What made them come back to the employment of private debt collectors? A 2015 law passed by the Congress.
It Will Be a Slow Transfer
Back in 2009, the IRS decided to halt all collaborations with private debt collectors as the agency reached the conclusion that IRS employees can do the job better. However, a 2015 law required the agency to resume its program.
The IRS declared that it will soon start to turn over 100 accounts per week towards four different private debt collection agencies. In time, the program will expand, the agency handling over 1,000 accounts every week to each firm.
Seeing as there are more and more people who try to trick taxpayers into giving them money, the IRS devised a system that will prevent fraud. First, all individuals whose accounts will be transferred to a private company will receive an official transfer notification from the IRS. The notice will come in the form of an official letter bearing all the agency’s stamps.
Then, the company that takes over the account will also send a letter to the taxpayer, announcing the completion of the transfer process. Only after this second letter will people be contacted by private debt collectors via telephone.
Beware of Scammers
Since 2013, almost 2 million people were contacted by scammers demanding them to pay their overdue taxes. The callers posed as IRS employees who reminded taxpayers to pay neglected fees. They also provided an account and all information needed to make the payment. Approximately 10,300 individuals fell victims to this scam, an average of $55 million going straight into the pockets of criminals.
The business is so profitable that the criminals set up call centers in India, turning the scams into a high-end criminal organization. At the moment, 61 perpetrators were arrested in the United States. It seems that the callers were trained before making the calls, working off scripts. The most gullible victims were legal immigrants who were threatened with deportation.
Keep in mind that private debt collectors only contact individuals who managed to accumulate several years of debt. Moreover, all taxpayers who will receive a call from independent contractors have previously received official debt notifications from the IRS.
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