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?