IRS Phone Scams

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you by telephone before sending you official correspondence via US mail. The Service is warning taxpayers about telephone scams that involve fraudsters impersonating the agency and demanding immediate payment on overdue or back taxes. Although the IRS issued a warning about these scams last October, the government has received about 90,000 taxpayer complaints this year. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.

The fake phone calls usually involve a spoofed phone number that causes caller ID systems to display the toll-free IRS phone number. During the phone call, fake agents request immediate payment. Phone calls are usually followed up with emails in an attempt to make it appear more official.

  • If you receive a phone call that you suspect to be a scam, hang up immediately and report it directly to the IRS office at 1.800.829.1040 (if you think you owe taxes) or TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484 (if you don’t think you owe taxes).