Link to article
Thieves have stolen $15 million from at least 3,000 people in just the last two years by pretending to be the IRS. The thieves threaten the victims by saying things like they could go to jail for five years unless they pay them immediately.
My first thought when I read that was "Really, people are that dumb to just cough up thousands of dollars?" But as Al Cadenhead said later in the article, "I was the perfect victim. I've never been audited, never paid a traffic ticket. I don't know how to pay fines. How do I know they aren't stern and serious about everything?"
Basically, people are so scared when they hear that the IRS is after them that they'll do anything to get them off their backs. The scammers target everyone, but specifically immigrants and the elderly.
Currently there is an investigation going on, but scammers are still out there. Obviously, these scammers should be arrested if caught, but, looking at the bigger picture, why is there such widespread fear of the IRS? Is our tax system so complicated that people immediately assume they've screwed up even if they haven't? What can be done to fix this problem?