IRS Tax Scam

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

What is it?

An intimidating and sophisticated phone scam, callers claim to be IRS employees, and say you owe taxes. They might also:

  • threaten to arrest or deport you if you don't pay,
  • know all or part of your Social Security number,
  • rig caller ID to make it look like the call is from the IRS, or
  • tell you to put the money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the card number.

What to do?

Know that the IRS does NOT:

  • call to demand immediate payment about taxes owed without first sending you a notification by mail,
  • ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone,
  • threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to arrest you for nonpayment.
  • If you have any doubts, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.