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People who pose as fake IRS representatives and try to scam unsuspecting people deserve your ire. It takes a particular kind of jerk to combine the IRS, telemarketing, and thievery into one occupation. You might have received a phone call from one of these scammers. Hopefully, you just hung up and didn’t give them any money.
Hadeel al-Massari of Seattle, Washington had different plans. She had quite the conversation with her would-be-scammer and published it all on Twitter.
It finally happened. I finally got a call from a scammer claiming to be the IRS and I could finally pull all of the tax law and privacy law I know out of my brain. This is a good day. This is MY day, people.— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
THREAD -- SUMMARIZED TRANSCRIPT— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
-I receive a phone call from someone with a Maryland phone number, they identify themselves as being from the IRS and that I have "defaulted" on my tax payments for 2017.
Considering that uh...tax day isn't even here yet and I know the IRS will never call you, I decided to put it on speaker phone and fire up Ye Olde Audacity to entertain myself while I wait for my morning tea to steep.— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Me: I defaulted on my tax payments? That sounds serious. Why wasn't I ever sent a bill?— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Person: You can take care of it over the phone with me. We take most major credit cards and prepaid Visa gift cards
Me: I'm gonna stop you right there. I want to know why I wasn't sent a bill.
Person: We send several bills, you ignored them.— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Me: Did I? I think I would have remembered getting a bill from the IRS.
Person: You chose to ignore them.
Me: No, I don't think I'd ignore a CP523. It's a pretty distinct looking envelope.
Person: No, we sent you a bill and--— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Me: It's called a CP523.
Me: The IRS doesn't send "bills". They're not Comcast. They send a CP523. I DID throw away a coupon for one of those Casper mattresses.
Well, that might have been a mistake—those mattresses are so comfortable! She clearly already has one, or maybe she’s more of a Leesa person? Who knows. At any rate, the scammer seemed to have no interest in al-Massari’s quality of sleep, which just reinforces what an inconsiderate jerk they are.
Person: Ma'am, if you don't take this seriously, we can send the police--— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Me: No, you can't.
Person: I WILL SEND THE POLICE.
Me: Ok, send them. I'll be waiting.
Me: I hear sirens, is that them? (I live next to a fire station) Is that....the police?
Person: -silence-— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Me: Do y'all take PayPal?
Me: What about bitcoin?
Person: We can take--
Me: You're committing a federal crime. Did you know that? Did you know you're breaking the law and you're not very good at it?
Person: *hangs up*
An Aside: I'm currently trying to figure out how to make the "I WILL SEND THE POLICE" my ringtone.— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 3, 2018
Naturally, people saw al-Massari as a hero, doing what all of us secretly want to do when we get one of these phone calls.
Ma’am you are living my dream come true. Please take the day off and treat yourself.— Diana Kris 💕🇵🇭 (@_dianakris) April 4, 2018
You are my hero today. 🙂— Jeff Morris (@mister_terrific) April 3, 2018
I am suddenly thinking of all the fun opportunities I have missed by not picking up any calls from unknown numbers... 🤣— Jessica (@Thund3r_H4wk) April 4, 2018
I’m SO JEALOUS! All I ever get is the prerecorded “Hi, this is Rachel from account services,” and I hang up. I want a good scammer! *pouts dramatically*— Shira Kelley (@ShiraKelley) April 5, 2018
People have been asking al-Massari to post the audio for the call, but as she points out, in Washington state that would require the consent of both parties, not something she’s likely to get.
As a side note, she also doesn’t want to be on your podcast.
4. My state is a two-party consent state, so I cannot share or release the recording and I will not be doing that.— Let's Make a Ha-Deel (@twittysuch) April 4, 2018
5. No, I cannot be on your podcast or radio show or do an interview for your publication. I have a job and life and stuff and just don't have time.
According to the official IRS website, calls like these are very common. The IRS adds that it will never:
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Call you about an unexpected refund.
Too bad about that last thing. You can read the IRS’ post about phone scams in its entirety here.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.