WA state AARP speaks with an IRS scammer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA state AARP speaks with an IRS scammer

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KENNEWICK, WA - We've all gotten the calls before; scams from people claiming to be the IRS, saying you owe the government money...sometimes even including threats of arrest if you don't pay over the phone.

These threats are scary, and every year Americans fearfully hand over their money to scammers, hoping the threat will go away. 

Reporter Rex Carlin took a different angle with this story, hearing straight from the source: a former scammer and the AARP official who spoke with him.

"Everybody who worked there knew it was a scam," said Doug Shadel, State Director with AARP Washington. "They knew they weren't the Internal Revenue Service, but they paid well. So that's why they got a lot of these people working there."

"Hi, this is Officer Adam Smith," said Jayesh Dubey, a former scam call fraudster. "Thank you for calling Internal Revenue Service. How may I help you?"

AARP officials interviewed Jayesh Dubey, who actually worked at one of these call scam outlets in Mumbai, India. Shadel spoke with Dubey and says he came away from new information about these call centers he didn't realize before.

"The guy explained to us how he had to put his fingerprint on the door to get into the room," said Shadel. "Hundreds of people at a time calling all over the United States and people calling them. It was an organized, basically a conspiracy to defraud Americans."

But the police, jail, losing your assets...all of that sounds horrifying to someone who might not realize who's at the other end of the call.

"We can never send the police to anybody's place because we don't know any police there," Dubey admitted. "We don't know anybody in America. We're here in India. So we don't know anything about America. We are just, in a fluke, we say anything just to scare them."

So on the receiving end of these phone calls, what can we do to make sure we don't get victimized by IRS, charity, or other scams over the phone?

"The IRS will never call you period unless they've written to you first, you would know about it before the phone ever rings," Shadel said. "If you're concerned that you might owe the IRS money, you should independently call the IRS and just check on it."

1-732-708-2865 has been confirmed as a scam number.