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Is the IRS Calling? Recognizing an IRS Scammer


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The tax filing season is a popular time for scammers to call and try to dupe unsuspecting taxpayers. These thieves often make threatening or alarming calls posing as the IRS to try to steal taxpayer money or personal information.

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IRS.gov

However, it’s easy for people to recognize this scam by knowing how the IRS contacts taxpayers.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.

Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:

  • Record the number and then hang up the phone immediately.
  • Report the call by visiting the Hotline page of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and using an IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
  • Report the number to phishing@irs.gov and put “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.

More information:

Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts
Report Phishing and Online Scams

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