Reporting IRS Impersonation Scams
- The IRS typically contacts people by mail first - not by phone - about unpaid taxes.
However, there are divisions of IRS that
will make phone calls to set up appointments/interviews, such as the Criminal Investigation (CI) division. CI also makes unexpected visits in conducting investigations, but will have a badge and ID
- The IRS won't ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won't ask for a credit card number over the phone.
- If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and uses threatening language if you don't pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn't the IRS calling.
- The callers who commit this fraud often:
- Utilize an automated robocall machine.
- Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
- May know the last four digits of the victim's Social Security Number.
- Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
- Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
- Call a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.
- If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS
asking for a payment, here's what to do:
- If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at
800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don't owe taxes, fill out the "IRS Impersonation scam" form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's website or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at
Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
- TIGTA and the IRS encourage taxpayers to be alert for phone and e-mail scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media. You should forward scam e-mails to
email@example.com. Don't open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.
- To report scams to TIGTA, go to: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/
- Click on:
- Complete Online Form
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