Almost Got Pulled Into A Phone Scam / How To Avoid Phone Scams


Normally I can spot a scam a mile away until recently.  I was home with my kids, husband at work and I received a phone call for my husband. The man on the other end said he was from the IRS. So as an inquisitive wife I asked what the call was in reference to. The man said that there was a problem with the past taxes that were filed stunned I took the man’s phone number and name down for my husband.  When I hung up I was puzzled because we have never ever had any issues with out taxes and my husband has done our taxes for many years.  


A few minutes later the same man called back and this time he was pushy noting that my husband needed to call him back immediately. I explained that my husband was not available at the moment. The man said my husband was sending money to his family overseas and not claiming everything on his taxes. WHAT? He does not have family overseas, I told the man there had to be a mistake. I then proceeded to tell him that my husband and father in law have the same first and last name with a different middle name could he have the wrong person? He insisted my husband call him back quick.


So I tried calling my husband on his cell phone – no answer. Then I tried calling him on his work line – no answer! Why does this happen when you want to really speak with someone?  So there was nothing I could do. Again the man called for a 3rd time. Now I was worried. This time the man said there was a warrant out for my husbands arrest and one for me since we were married and most likely we filled our taxes together.  OK now I was panicking. Really how could this be happening. We have never been in trouble with the law and now a warrant for taxes? There had to be a mistake I told the man again. The man said my husband needed to call me back in a 1/2 hour or we will be there for the arrest. 


I tried calling my husband again and again at both numbers he wasn’t answering. Red flags were going off in my head – something did not seen right. So I looked on my caller ID took the phone number and headed for my desktop and did a reverse number. The number showed up as a phone number from Washington. OK was this real, isn’t the IRS headquarters in Washington I thought. So I called the number to see how they answered the phone and I got a voice mail from the man who called.  I was scared because the man noted that he knew our address. So even if something wasn’t right did he still know my address – am I a sitting duck? So I gathered the kids, my iPad and phone got in the van and left. 


I drove around aimlessly with my kids asking what was happening, where are we going?  I tried calling my husband again no answer. I have to admit I was wondering he is not answering his phone is something fishy really happening? Then I called my mom. She always has the right answers. I explained everything that happened and she said that very morning she heard about the same phone scam on the news. She said these people are looking for money. Her advice was to go back home and call the police. So I called the police and the officer I spoke with was very aware of this scam and there were not warrants out for our arrests.  WHEW!  He then told me if this man called back to tell him that I contacted the authorities and hang up. The man never called back that day and I was hoping he would because after all the stress he caused me I longed to tell him what the officer told me to tell him.


Weeks later the man did call back and I was happy I answered the phone because I did tell him I contacted the authorities and his response was not pleasant and he laughed – I hung up. How can people pry on innocent people?  I if he ever did have the chance to speak with my husband what was he going to pull to try to get money?  Thankfully my gut told me something did not add up. 



Here are some tips on how to avoid phone scams:

 phone scams


  – Ask the caller questions.


– Never give personal information such as your name, anyone else’s name in your household, social security number, bank account information, your address, etc.


 – Do reverse call look up, there are several sites that do it for free but they are limited to the information given. 


– Go with your gut, if something does not seem right then it probably isn’t.


– If the caller claims they are with a credit card company, IRS or any other place that involves financials then call the number back and see how the call is answered. 


– If the caller is asking for money and claims to be trying to collect never give them payment over the phone, ask to call them back and ask questions. I had someone call trying to collect for my daughter’s hospital bill, there was noway I was just going to give them my credit card number over the phone without confirming they were with the hospital so I called them back. 


– If you feel like you have been scammed call the police. 


What about you, have you ever been involved in a phone scam? Now I just do not answer my phone when it’s a phone number that does not seem right and if I do answer and I know it’s a scam I hang up. If you ever get a call from someone claiming they are from the IRS it’s a scam, they do not call they mail letters. 


  1. Great post! I can’t count how many times people have tried to scam me. As long as you’re SUPER careful, you can usually spot a scammer.

  2. Phone scammers are really out of control. The worst thing about them is that they go hand in hand with identity theft, so it’s a horrible double whammy.

  3. That is really scary, but I appreciate the heads up just the same!

  4. Those are good tips. I have been trying to teach my kids to go with their gut instinct, too!

  5. Oh my goodness, how scary! The fact that the same guy kept calling is what gets me. I would have thought that with scammers, they’d try it once and then let it go. I guess they’re persistent. Really scary.

  6. So scary, sometimes they are really convincing especially if they pretend to be a bank that you deal with. The calls to our house is nonstop, wish there was some way to prevent them from calling.

  7. My mother in law recently received a similar call. She called us and we told her not to give them any information because the IRS would not do business via phone. What I do when I receive weird calls (and I receive alot): I tell them to hand one a sec and then I push one of the buttons on my phone and then say, ” I just hit the record button, letting you know for legal purposes.” Every time I’ve done that, they hang up right away! lol

  8. Sorry you had to go through that. Very scary indeed. I’d have all those questions in my head too.

    Glad it all worked out and thanks for the tips. Very good info.

  9. I always do a call back with fishy phone calls, if I don’t get a professional answering system or secretary/operator, I hang up immediately. It’s a good thing you realized the signs and didn’t give into the fear!

  10. Crazy!! I had an IRS call on a number I got for a press phone, so not in any way linked to my personal info or taxes. I ignored the call and voicemail, but they’ve called back twice!!! I hate scammers!!

  11. Oh my goodness that is so frightening. I cannot imagine how scared you must have been. I am glad you were able to deduce it was a scam.

  12. So scary! These are great tips – I’m always hesitant to even answer numbers I don’t know but it’s good to be prepared in case something like this happens so you don’t give out info and to ask the right questions.

  13. After the tenth time someone tried to pull me into a phone scam, I finally just started telling everyone up front to either send me something in writing or stop contacting me. These people are really good at sounding legit.

  14. It’s amazing how many phone scams there are out there – and how professional they sound. Scary.

  15. I’ve seen similar cases here in Atlanta where people even impersonate the police on the phone.
    Glad you followed your gut!

  16. That is scary! I’m so glad we haven’t been victims yet. Great tips!

  17. I hadn’t heard of that particular scam before ~ how scary that was for you! … Also, don’t give out personal information if requested in an e-mail! Scammers send e-mails that look official from a credit card company, paypal, etc. Call or e-mail to the address you have on file for that company, and ask if they were trying to contact you.

  18. That is creepy! I try to never answer the phone when I don’t know the number. I will listen to a message and get back to them if they are someone I care to speak with.

  19. Oh my gosh I hate spammers and scammers. Seriously, what happened to working for a living? I added my phone number to a donotcall list so I could report companies who hound me to death in what I perceive as spammers, and ADT is the WORST in this. I have never received a scam phone call but I know the day will come when that does happen. Sorry you went through that, I know you must have been frightened.

  20. How scary!! Thanks for the tips. I will be passing this along!!

  21. That’s really scary. There are so many scams out there today that you cannot be too safe.

  22. I’m really glad that you hesitated and did that reverse lookup on the number. Most of the time, there will be a sort of message board that comes up and people will leave notes about numbers that have called them. It’s a great way to see if a number has ties to scams.

  23. That is super scary! Glad you escaped the scam and thanks for the tips.

  24. Sadly, when I was a teen I fell girl a phone scam. It was got a college grant and I’d get my school paid for.mi just had yo send $250. I gave them my bank account info and they transferred it out. Thankfully I caught on before it was too late and had no money left.

  25. I will never understand why people are so dishonest with such things (or anything for that matter). There were people here in PA that tried pretending to be the “police benevolant (sp?) association”. Turns out, after talking with local police officers, that it was false!

  26. My daughter’s friend recently had a relative almost get pulled into a phone scam. His grandfather got a call saying that his grandson was stuck in Panama City and needed money but didn’t want to call his dad. Luckily he knew that his grandson was not there, although he did often visit a beach house in PCB.

  27. I have had numerous calls with people trying to get remote access to my computer.
    I always play dumb and ask for a phone number “just incase the baby hangs up the phone” and while I have them on the line I do a remote search.
    I ask a ton of questions so I can keep them on the line and when they get frustrated and hang up I call the cops.

  28. We got this same type of call this weekend, 4 times they called. I told them number was being traced by the police and phone company. Now if only the bill collectors for my ex husband were as easy to get rid of.

  29. what a mess. people are so crazy! it still surprises me every time i read something like this. i’m so glad you and your family are okay. we don’t have a land line, so i’m glad when i get a strange call on my cell i can quickly block the #.

  30. That is just crazy! Thankfully you questioned his actions too!

  31. Phone scams can really be scary. I’m glad you were smart and not only left the house, went somewhere safe, and called the authorities. Really good tips on how to avoid being taken!

  32. Ecuador is filled with scams. There’s a segment in daily news just for the new scams people keep inventing. Just recently my son was home alone and two men came and told him that I had sent them to get our computers and TVs. He needed to open the door and let them take them because I really needed them. Luckily he didn’t let them inside but asked them what my full name was and to spell it. They couldn’t so he told them that he knew it was just a scam. He loves to watch the news segment and knew all about this scam. He was so proud and happy that he had caught them and it had happened to him. I wasn’t at all as happy.

  33. I am sorry you dealt with this, I have gotten emails with similar requests.

  34. how scary. and why didn’t your husband answer your call? That was super scary.

  35. Wow that is scary! I actually heard about this scam going on in my area on the news. In the new they reported that the IRS will never call you, they will always send a letter which I know to be true since I’ve received communications through the mail in the past from the IRS. So sorry this happened to you though!

  36. That is terrible. Great tips to avoid this type of scam.

  37. These scams are common, scary and everyone must be extra vigilant when it comes to any incoming phone calls.

  38. It seems like I am getting more and more calls recently. I can’t stand phone scammers!!

  39. I’ve never gotten the phone calls but I have gotten the emails especially those saying that my PayPal account has been compromised. I NEVER reply to any of them. Great post and I hope it helps others.

  40. This is a great post. Phone scammers are getting better and better everyday at sounding legitimate. You’ve got to really be on your toes.

  41. Oh my goodness, I would have freaked out… totally… I have never gotten any calls like this, but you were so smart to catch on.

  42. Gosh that was really scary! You could have fallen for the man’s trap if not for your mom’s advice. Nowadays, people can easily get scammed even through a phone. I’m just glad that the man wasn’t successful. It’s a good thing that you didn’t suffer from a nervous breakdown because of the situation! Thanks for the ideas. These will really be of great help.

  43. This is crazy! I have never had any phone calls like this but my friends has gotten called by the Verizon scam that is going around. These are great things to look out for!

  44. Best advice – just never answer the phone if it’s not someone you know. Works like a charm.

  45. I know someone who’s been getting those fake IRS calls! SO scary!

  46. I just got a strange call the other day asking to verify my credit card because it had been hacked (so they said). I hung up and called back. It was a disconnected number.

  47. We seldom get these, but if I see a strange number I simply don’t answer.

  48. I go by the rule, if it sounds outrageous, it is probably not true. So, then my husband turns right around and screws around with the scammy callers. They end up so annoyed/angry they never call back again. 😀

  49. What a scary phone scam! These type of phone callers need to stop!

  50. I have gotten to the point that I will not discuss anything on the phone. Amazing how fast they hang up!

  51. I use to get a bunch of those scammy calls and even scammier mail saying that I owed 100s of thousands in debt which was just nuts. Great post and great tips.

  52. Great post! I had no idea you could even do this. Great tips!

  53. christine j says:

    My parents recently got the similar IRS scam call. They were so worried my dad actually drove to the IRS. I am planning on changing my moms number because for some reason she is on a large scammers list. She gets calls like this all the time now. I googled it and saw so many complaints. you just google the phone number to see what people are saying about it

  54. This is a great post. There is also a Microsoft phone scam going around. They try to pretend that something is wrong with your computer and try to get you to give them remote access so they can take all of your personal info and crash your computer.

  55. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe people go this far! I had a friend who got a call that said her husband was being accused of murder and that she had to send money right away for his attorneys. This is so crazy that people would do this!

  56. Anyway, I’m going to tweet this several times because people need to really be warned about this. It’s such serious stuff how people get scammed like this and you never know what else could happen. Thank you for sharing this. It’s truly something important. Anyway, my friend, being scared and not thinking really, she got money out of her accounts and sent A LOT of money over.

  57. These are great tips. These scammers are getting better and better at what they do everyday. Now I just tell anyone that calls that if I can’t get something in writing, I’m not interested.

  58. So glad that you didn’t give out your information! Like Ben mentioned, I insist that they send me information in writing. If they don’t have my address, then I usually figure that they don’t actually have any pertinent info on me.

  59. I haven’t been called by any of these scammers, but my father was almost taken in when “Windows” called him to report that his PC had a virus. Luckily, he called me and I told him that it’s a scam. (Sign #1: It’s Microsoft, not “Windows”, and they don’t call users to report virus infestations.) I blogged about it here in case anyone’s interested:

    Glad you didn’t fall for this scammer. Unfortunately, these people are very good at what they do and can make unlikely scenarios seem to be true. Just remember that no valid organization would call you up and expect you to make a payment right over the phone without providing written documentation.

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