i tried to be funny
Seriously, my dad just encountered this and it should not be happening
just wanted to put this out there so nobody gets caught by it
There is an IRS PHONE SCAMgoing around
Basically, someone calls your phone and claims they are from the IRS. They tell you that you owe money because you incorrectly filled out your tax forms. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. Then they tell you that you need to pay it immediately because it is a time sensitive issue. They threaten you with arrest, suspended drivers license, turning off your utilities, etc. They get extremely hostile and try to scare you into paying them.
There is so much wrong with this that these should be BIG red flags
The IRS does not call you first and immediately threaten arrest. Their first method of contact is mail, like legit snail-mail. They tend to send multiple notices before attempting to contact you another way. Threatening you with arrest is basically a last attempt to get you to pay your taxes and thats after meeting with tax attorneys or tax professionals to admit that you actually did something wrong. Or it is after an audit. They never try to be intimidating or manipulative. Every time I have talked to a member of the IRS, they have been kind and patient, and they attempting to resolve the issue as peacefully as possible.
Some helpful tips to remember if you think you are being scammed:
- NEVER give any pertinent information over the phone. This includes SSN, Birthdate, Credit Card information, etc. If they request you to and it is the actual IRS, you can ask if you can make an appointment to talk to someone in person at the office.
- Ask as many questions as possible that is relevant to the situation. You may think it is unnecessary, but one of those questions may stump the scammer and you may get a better idea of the scam.
- Always ask for a name/ID number for the IRS personnel you are dealing with. They all have them and that way if you call back, you can attempt to talk to the same person or check if they are an actual employee.
- DO NOT GIVE MONEY OVER THE PHONE. This is pretty much a always situation. Like it is almost impossible to know if you are talking to a legit employee or someone faking, so better safe than sorry.
Some hints that it is a scam:
- The person gives you a very generic name that could be faked like John Smith or something
- They claim they do not have an employee ID number. Federal employees get one so usually thats BS if they say they don’t have one. Not always but usually
- They become hostile or angry easily. Employees at any job tend to be working to make the customer happy, hence they attempt to avoid any harsh tones or angry words. If the person becomes irrationally angry or pushy, they are trying too hard to sell you something or get you to cooperate.
- They ask you to pay right then and there. And they do not accept it if you say you will call back or pay at another time. They make it sound like a life or death situation in order to force you into paying. Threats are made.
- They don’t call from a government number. This goes with the Caller ID sort of stuff, but if it does not say IRS, it most likely is not the actual IRS.
Some things to do after the phone call:
- Call the local police; even if you didn’t give in to the scam, it gives them an idea of the frequency of the scam and helps bring about awareness
- Tell everyone you know; Hence why I am writing this now lol If you get the word out, less people will become victims of it.
- Contact the IRS or some sort of government agency to make sure they are aware of the scam. The IRS has a contact number for scams that you can call and report it to.
Basically, keep an eye out. It would really suck if a bunch of people got trapped by this. The guy asked my dad for $1500 and I’m pretty sure thats a hefty amount for a lot of us to pay.
So pass this around and make sure to get the word out about the IRS Phone Scam
Censorship: The government says, “No, you cannot publish that.”
Not censorship: Your consumers say, “No, I find this problematic and I will not buy it.”
Also not censorship: Your consumers say “All of you writers/artists need to stop doing the problematic thing if you want us to buy your product,” and encourage other consumers to say the same.
Also also not censorship: A fellow consumer of media says “Your arguments about how this is not problematic are wrong, and/or you are a jerk.”
(Arguably a form of censorship but not a violation of constitutional freedom of speech: the publisher / network / producer / website owner says “No, you cannot use my platform to say that.”)
And while I am pretty vehemently anti-censorship for a whole host of reasons, if you cite freedom of speech as a defense when called out for saying something repugnant, I will almost immediately take you a hell of a lot less seriously.
Also not censorship: Being blocked/banned/put into “time out” on an online forum/blog/chat room/game because whatever you said violated their policies of acceptable discourse/behavior.
"Free speech" does not mean that you are exempt from the repercussions of whatever you say.
And “free speech” is a right that comes from the government but does NOT apply to any private enterprise or privately-controlled space, online or off.
Schools, businesses, online sites, and individuals all have the right to enforce their own policies about what you can and cannot say in their space.
When we say you have a right to freedom of speech in America, that literally ONLY means that the government cannot legally tell you not to say shit that you independently put out there using your own time and dollar, however you decide to do that. AND there are some important exceptions to that, which are all pretty intuitive, such as… you are not protected by the right to free speech if you directly threaten anyone, or if you say something that causes unwarranted harm to people or property. So, that would be the “yelling FIRE in a theater” example. Also, you cannot threaten to kill the President, even jokingly. You cannot incite violence or encourage illegal acts, for the most part. So, for example, you cannot tell people they should “start killing cops because cops need to be afraid of citizens, not terrorizing them,” because that would be an act of terrorism.
This isn’t universally true, and a lot of times you get loopholes where religion is concerned, or a lot of times really no one CARES, but you really probably shouldn’t do this directly. That would be stupid, to directly encourage people to, like, start killing cops, as an example.
I’ve also seen it pointed out that “freedom of speech” is really pretty weak shit in terms of defending your opinion. If that’s your only comeback, you’re literally saying that at least it’s not actually ILLEGAL for you to say something.