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 Everyone's favourite people the IRS
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  05:18:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A friend of mine recently received a pdf purporting to be from the IRS, and I was hoping someone on here may be able to tell me the liklihood that it's not a scam.

The letter claims to be from the Bellevue branch in Washington but it doesn't look like the "normal" structure of a letter. Rather than starting Dear Ms ... it begins with - This is to notify Ms. ...

There are a couple of typo's in it too, in particular ones that would most likely be picked up by a spell checker.

The address at the bottom of the letter is simply given as

Department of Treasury
IRS
USA
2013-01-02

Although there is a bellevue address at the top of the letter this one certainly doesn't look to me like a sensible address and the numbers are presumably the date, but clearly not in US (or UK) format.

Finally there is a logo at the top of the letter and there is also a large logo used as the background of the text of the letter.

Clearly I know very little about the US government and the form of the letters they may send out but I am sure that no UK government agency would send out a letter that looked anything like this.

I'm sure it's clear I am very suspicious about this but that might just be my paranoia kicking in and I would appreciate any thoughts either way from someone more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

The person involved is going to contact the IRS branch in London but that could take a while.

thanks

steve

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15657 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  07:14:45  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Almost certainly a scam. By all means check independently, but don't respond electronically. You could try googling the text of the PDF and see if there's another reference to it.
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  08:21:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah thanks rob, I've googled some of it and came up with nothing. I've also googled for IRS letter and notices and they seem to consistently look nothing like this one. What I find odd about this if it is a scam is that the scammer(s) have invested a lot of time for a relatively small amount of money (or at least an amount that is less than I would expect) - in the region of 2000 gbp which is around 3000 usd. Having said all that the circumstances are quite unusual and that's what made me wonder if it might be genuine

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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robvolk
Most Valuable Yak

USA
15657 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  09:40:35  Show Profile  Visit robvolk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Don't quote me on this, but I doubt the IRS would rely solely on electronic communication if there's actual money involved. The address you posted doesn't have a zip code, so it's not valid in the US.

Check the PDF document properties for author, etc. Official IRS stuff would have real information there.
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  09:54:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I checked the pdf properties and all it said was IRS in a few of the fields, the pdf is called IRS.pdf which is what made me suspicious in the first place. I would also expect some sort of reference number, a phone number and some other references but none of those are on it. Looking at the current stuff from Google, they make it very clear how much they say you owe them and the various means you can use to pay but on this letter it's just something that's in the middle of the text with little reference of how to pay. To add to this it's purportedly been forwarded from another company i.e. they claim the IRS sent them it and they are passing it on which I find pretty unlikely. I've just re-read it and the "IRS" are insisting that an officer of this other company are contacted to make payment which also sounds pretty unlikely to me

Unfortunately the person concerned is having difficulty getting hold of the IRS here but I'm sure persistence will pay off.

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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Michael Valentine Jones
Yak DBA Kernel (pronounced Colonel)

USA
7020 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  10:34:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have never heard of the IRS using a third party to collect money.






CODO ERGO SUM
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  10:42:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The more I look at it the more I am convinced its a scam. Thanks guys for your help.



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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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jezemine
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
2885 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2013 :  19:33:15  Show Profile  Visit jezemine's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I actually live in Bellevue, WA so you can send the money to me. I'll make sure IRS gets it. :)


elsasoft.org
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2013 :  03:51:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jezemine

I actually live in Bellevue, WA so you can send the money to me. I'll make sure IRS gets it. :)


elsasoft.org



Aw thanks thats really helpful.

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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Michael Valentine Jones
Yak DBA Kernel (pronounced Colonel)

USA
7020 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2013 :  09:49:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you actually want to contact the IRS Bellevue office, this page has contact info:
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Washington

This might be helpful also:
"The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice
at the IRS"
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1546.pdf



CODO ERGO SUM
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elwoos
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2050 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2013 :  12:28:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thats great thanks Micheal we may well end up doing that.

Steve

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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