After decades of diligently paying taxes and filing returns so simple I choose to do them myself, I must have done something very, very, very wrong! ‘Cause now I have The Man pounding on my door (phone) demanding that I respond to their verbal warnings and threats of imminent “legal proceedings”. Yet I don’t recall getting any official notices and threatening letters from the Internal Revenue Service, filled with mind-numbing bureaucratese, enumerating my heartless transgressions against the People of America that surely should have proceeded my run-in with the IRS’s latest crop of bird-dogging bounty hunters!
It’s a bit of a puzzle.
Most confusing is the IRS’s reliance on a bunch of poorly spoken “English majors” apparently based in either West Africa or the Indian sub-continent. It’s kinda hard to decipher their dialects. The first call was from the latter, the latest from the former. Don’t these hunter-killer IRS units speak to each other?!?
The second Special Agent, who called himself “Don” with an Anglo-Saxon last name spoke in a heavy Punjabi or Urdu accent (I can never tell the two apart.), was much more pleasant than the previous Special Agent, who sounded much more African (if I can be so bold as to characterize his geographical-cultural orientation).
“West Africa” didn’t leave a name, but he was very forceful and full of implied threats. He made sure – in no uncertain terms – that we knew the serious of our crimes against America, Apple Pie, and Motherhood. He demanded immediate redress from our answering machine! (The greatest invention since the brewery!) Aggressive legal action was dangling by a single hair – like the Sword of Damocles – above our heads. I was almost convinced a S.W.A.T. team was sitting out on our back deck awaiting the word to breach the doors and drag us all off to Debtor’s Prison.
OK … So it’s a scam. A scam of the worst kind, intended to prey on the elderly, the disconnected, the easily spooked in nothing more than any of the other usual methods of stealing from the weak.
A coworker, who also received the dreaded Tax Man Cometh scam, had the opportunity to answer the phone before he realized the call was a baited fish-hook. Once the gig was up, he simply asked the “agent” his name, identification code, and location so he could call back after reviewing his tax return. He heard a rustling of paper in the background, undoubtedly as the “agent” checked for this unexpected turn in the prepared script. Then the line went dead …
But you really do have to laugh at the desperation, the obvious inattention to detail, the amateurish attempts to portray Big Bad government agent, and the huge clues they drop that are almost as good as being caught with an exploding dye pack in the getaway car while still sitting in the bank parking lot!
For me, I had to laugh at Don of The Sub-Continent when he ended his call of dire warning and imminent legal and financial ruin with the following salutation:
“Good night and God bless”
Imagine that … An IRS attack dog that signs off saying, “God bless”!?!
Game, set, match …