I Don’t Want to Go to Jail

I Don't Want to Go to Jail

As I read the transcribed voice mail left on my home phone this week, I had a feeling of uneasiness. The message basically said, “Hello, this call is officially a final notice from the Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number.”

My first response was, uh-oh, I must be in trouble. But then as I thought about the situation, I knew that I had paid my taxes, and my CPA is on top of things. So, something didn’t sound right with this message.

I checked around and discovered that some friends had gotten the exact same message. One friend’s daughter answered the phone and the guy proceeded to tell her they were going to send police to her house and arrest her if she didn’t immediately pay the money she owed. She was in tears, until her mom convinced her that this was a scam. “The police are not coming for you!”

As I did further research on this, I found out that the IRS never calls you about an issue like this. They will send a letter first and give you a chance to work things out.

Sadly, there are people who will receive this call and believe the lies. They will answer the demand to give a large sum of money in order to avoid jail. But it’s a lie. Not truth.

It reminded me how important it is for us to be able to recognize untruths – not just with telephone scams, but with what the world says about God’s truth, the Bible. There are plenty of people who are speaking untruths about God’s Word:

  • The Bible isn’t relevant today. Times have changed. That doesn’t apply to us anymore.
  • Everybody’s doing it, so it’s ok.
  • If it feels right, it’s not sin.
  • God forgives you, so go ahead and sin all you want.
  • The Bible isn’t the only Word of God. There are lots of other books out there that are God’s Word.
  • There are many ways to heaven. Just pick what feels good to you.
  • God doesn’t love you. If He did, why did He allow this to happen to you?

All are lies. They contradict what God’s Word says. And just like the telephone scams, we have to be alert and able to discern truth from lies.

I am often reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 11:3: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you received a phone scam that could have deceived you had you not been alert? What are some other lies the world tries to convince us are truth?

  1. I received several such calls on voice mail. As a former federal prosecutor of tax frauds, I immediately recognized it as fraud – which is basically a lie or misrepresentation for the purpose of parting you from your money. I called the number back but never got anyone to answer. I know the real IRS has become aware of this, and there are criminal investigations under way. This scam plays on most people’s natural fear/anxiety at getting such a call. You “know” you haven’t cheated, but is there something you forgot to do or misunderstood. Thanks for the sin analogy. The devil is the father of lies, and uses his minions, to lie, cheat, and steal in every area of life – not just the financial. Blessings to you and all those who read your blog and this post.

    • Hickman, I actually thought about calling you after that phone call, but I knew you’d laugh! I’d love to see their face if you ever did get in touch with them and told them who you are. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Thanks, Janene. A great reminder about hiding God’s Word(s) in our hearts. Keep it up!

    • Thanks, Pauline! And I read your article about caregiving – sooo good. I was the caregiver for my mom for several years before she passed away. Wish I had read your article before then. It was a hard season, but a blessing. As your title aptly says, an exhausting privilege.

  3. Great post! We must know the Word so we won’t be deceived!

  4. Crickett, I don’t want to go to jail either! This is such a great analogy because, when we believe Satan’s lies he wraps us in chains and holds us captive. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  5. Thanks, Nan! It just reminded me how important it is for me to stay in God’s Word and believe His truth. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve had this same call. The worst was when my cousin was called by someone saying my mom (his aunt) was stuck in a foreign country without money and needed him to wire a thousand dollars to her. He knew she travels a lot and instead of waiting to try to get a hold of her in person, he paid the money. My mom was safely in her house when he did call her. Lies will steal from us!

    Heather Bock

  7. Oh, Heather, I hate that your cousin got suckered into paying that money! I’ve gotten those messages in emails from friends, but not phone calls. It’s just a good reminder that we need to be alert and discerning to truth vs. lies. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I have received several scam calls…..i have been bruised enough by believing something I should not have that by now, I can recognize such calls. What I particularly relate to in this post is the fact that everything God says in the Bible is truth……if you choose not to obey, there will be consequences to yourself and/or other people. God’s commands are not hard to understand yet sometimes they are hard to obey because in your own eyes something looks harmless or ok. It never is…..and I started learning that from Rhonda Finfrock and Elaine Sillos so many years ago at First Evan. However, those ladies could have been frustrated with me and told me to come back when I had cleaned myself up……they did not do that and God used them to change my life forever. Thanks for this reminder…..

    • Susan, so thankful for Rhonda and Elaine and the positive impact they made in your life! And thanks for sharing! We miss you here at First Evan!

  9. We’ve gotten those calls too–though at our house they showed up on the caller ID as being from an international number, which was pretty much a giveaway. It’s a great reminder that we need to be able to sort out the truth from lies.

    • Leigh, I have learned that when the caller id shows a number that I don’t recognize, it’s probably not someone I want to talk to. But, I have to confess, when they leave a message like this, I know it’s a scam, but there’s that little part of me that doubts and questions if I neglected something. It was a good reminder for me to keep focused on God’s truth when the world tries to make me believe differently. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Someone called my number and left a message for another person who was facing a court case. It was a scam too. Lies today include that we have to be like the crowd to be worth something. Another lie is that we have to earn God’s love. Truth is so liberating and so comforting!

  11. Katy, great additions to the lies today. Those two lies are so prevalent today. Thanks for sharing these!

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