IRS Phone Scams



CPF 0005-16-CID361-9H       18 October 2016
Contact Information:
Cyber Criminal Intelligence Program
27130 Telegraph Road
Quantico, Virginia 22134

Phone: 571.305.4482 [DSN 240]
Fax: 571.305.4189 [DSN 240]

Avoid Taxing Telephone Scams: Just Hang Up

Telephone scams are nothing new. You answer your ringing telephone and someone, in an excited voice purporting to represent some important company or government agency, tells you something bad will happen to you if you don’t send money immediately.

Sometimes, the scammer uses a different ruse and tells you something good will happen if you do send money. Whatever the scam, if the call or caller seems unusual or suspicious or the nature of the pitch unlikely, proceed with caution or simply hang up.

IRS telephone scams are varied. But a common theme is a tax is due and if payment is not received, immediately a criminal report will be made to local police: your arrest is imminent.

Another common IRS scam is a telephone call or email telling you that you are due a tax refund. In order to positively identify you, you must provide the caller with certain personal information. That information can be used to steal your identity.

The IRS wants everyone to know, they will never:

1. Call, email, text or use social media to demand payment, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for taxes due. This includes methods like prepaid debit cards, iTunes cards and money transfers.
4. Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for non-payment.

If you are contacted, other than through U.S. Mail, by someone purporting to represent the IRS, the IRS asks you to report the contact to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800.366.4484 or at

Additional Resources:
Tax Scams Video – IRS Tax Scams Video posted on YouTube
IRS Warns of Summer Surge in Phone Scams – IRS
IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting – Treasury Department
Phone Scams Continue to be a Serious Threat – IRS