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IRS Phone Scam Intensifies During Filing Season

IRS Tax Tip 2018-44, March 22, 2018

As taxpayers are working to file their taxes, criminals are also hard at work — attempting to steal their money. While there are several versions of tax scams, the classic telephone con continues to thrive, especially during filing season. As a reminder, here’s how the scam works:

  • Scammers call taxpayers telling them they owe taxes and face arrest if they don’t pay. Sometimes, the first call is a recording, asking taxpayers to call back to clear up a tax matter or face arrest.
  • When taxpayers call back, the scammers often use threatening and hostile language. The thief claims the taxpayers may pay their debts using a gift card, other pre-paid cards or wire transfers.
  • Taxpayers who comply lose their money to the scammers.

Taxpayers should remember that the IRS does not:

  • Call taxpayers demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method, but will first mail a bill.
  • Threaten to have taxpayers arrested for not paying taxes.
  • Demand payment without giving taxpayers an opportunity to question or appeal the amount the IRS believes they owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Taxpayers who receive these phone calls should:

  • Hang up the phone immediately, without providing any information.
  • Report these calls to the:

More Information:
How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

IRS YouTube Videos:
Tax Scams – English | Spanish | ASL
Dirty Dozen – English | Spanish | ASL