You pick up the phone and someone on the other end says they are with the IRS. Don't panic. Hang up the phone immediately! Over the past several years, thousands of victims have lost millions of dollars to scammers purporting to be the IRS. If you receive an unexpected phone call from the IRS, it is probably not actually a representative of the IRS calling. Thieves who claim to be calling from the IRS continue to try to get people to provide personal information over the telephone. The scammers then use personal information to gain access to the victim’s bank or other account.
Taxpayers should be careful to not fall for a scammer’s tricks. The scammers make urgent unsolicited calls, use scare tactics and threats, utilize caller ID spoofing, and offer other false information in attempts to trick victims.
There are several tips from the IRS to help taxpayers avoid becoming a scam victim.
The IRS will not:
Taxpayers who think they might actually owe taxes should follow these steps:
Taxpayers who have received a fraudulent call should follow these steps:
Scammers are not only using the telephone, but are also utilizing email and other methods trying to impersonate the IRS and taxpayers should be careful of other communications as well. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov to explore their rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them.