Confessions of an IRS imposter
Overseas scammers who pose as IRS agents trick consumers out of millions of dollars every year.
For the first time, we have a look at some of the people behind those calls.
Consumer advocates at AARP teamed up with a crew in India to get you to hang up on the scammers.
AARP wants you to see their video and hear their interview with a fake IRS agent- who says it was actually a job, that paid very well.
Next time you get a call from someone claiming to be an IRS agent, picture a 19 year old civilian in Mumbai, India.
AARP Washington says Jayesh Dubey and his friend were looking for work, when they heard about openings at one of Mumbia's many call centers. He was impressed by the salary he couldn't get anywhere else.
"I was working there for money," Dubey said. "Because they provided me which nobody could provide me in the whole Mumbai."
Dubey told the video crew he and he friend went from just answering calls and handing off American victims to experienced closers, to handling the entire calls themselves. They routinely duped consumers from across the United States into handing over money for fictitious tax bills.
What's astonishing, is the number of consumers who responded to the 50-thousand phony messages Dubey says his bosses left on American voice mail systems every day.
"We used to get around 10 thousand to 15 thousand call backs," said Dubey.
Dubey says after a while, he and his friend felt guilty about tricking people out of money they couldn't afford to lose, so they quit.
They were not in the call center when 250 police officers raided operation and detaining more than 700 people. Police seized everything in the building and discovered it was just a branch of a larger operation - that made more than 1.8 million calls to America, and stole hundreds of millions of American dollars.
AARP also released results of its new survey that shows many consumers are far more confident than they should be when it comes to being able to detect imposter scammers.
In Washington state, the survey found that 44% of consumers don't know that tech companies never contact you about viruses on your computer. 71percent did not know it's illegal to play a foreign lottery when you're in the U.S, and 72% did not know that when you're surfing the internet, a locked box icon does not necessarily mean you're dealing with a secure website.
AARP encourages consumers to take their "Imposter IQ quiz" to see how well they're able to spot imposter scams, compared to consumers in other states.
The non-profit organization also offers more consumer protection tips and fraud alerts through the AARP Fraud Watch Network.