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This time of year is often taxing for many consumers. Scams aimed at stealing taxpayers’ money make the season more stressful.

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) warns that crooks posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials are contacting people claiming they owe taxes. The caller demands a prepaid debit card, wire transfer or a credit card number for payment. If the person doesn’t comply, the caller threatens to arrest or deport the target, or take away their driver’s license or business.

Thousands of victims have lost money to these tax scam artists. But there are ways to recognize them and foil their attempts to steal your money.

These scammers often:

  • call you. But when the IRS contacts people about unpaid taxes, they do it by postal mail, not by phone 
  • use common names and fake IRS badge numbers
  • know the last four digits of your Social Security number
  • demand payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS doesn’t ask for either of these payment methods, nor will they ask for credit card numbers.
  • rig caller ID information to appear as if the IRS really is calling
  • send fake emails that look like legitimate IRS correspondence
  • make a second call claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, rigging the caller ID information  

To protect yourself from imposters who call, claiming to be from the IRS:

  • don’t provide any account or other personal information. Hang up the phone.
  • never wire money to a person or company you don’t know. Once you wire money, you can’t get it back.
  • if you owe - or think you owe - federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. You also can visit the IRS website at irs.gov.
  • if you’ve already paid your taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
  • forward emails from the IRS to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails. 
  • file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Include “IRS Telephone Scam" in your complaint.
Tagged with: IRS, phishing, scam, tax
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I have been getting these fake IRS harassing calls and threatening voice mails for the past several months from different numbers (which are also fake displays). I tried giving them the "beep" treatment a few times, which is to pick up the phone and press a telephone key for several minutes for a piercing sound, but that did not stop the phone calls. Finally, I picked up the phone today and gave this man a barrage of epithets in Hindi (just to check if he is Indian). He actually started speaking in Hindi confirming that he is of Indian descent. He then had the gall to call back and leave a message (in Hindi) saying "please, don't use foul language, I am not a terrorist!!"

Wish the govt would do something about these crooks assuming they are calling from the US and not outside of US.

I got this call this morning from someone with a very thick accent claiming to be a "Sam Fletcher" from the "Internal Revenue Service Department" I let it go to voice mail because I didn't recognize the number. He called me John, and my name is not John! Here is the transcript of the message that "Sam Fletcher" left me:

"This message is intended to you, John Hacks (?). Nummits (?) John, this call is from the Internal Revenue Service Department. The very second you receive this message, I need you, or your retained attorney of record to return the call. The issue at hand is extremely time sensitive. My name is Sam Fletcher, and (not understandable) is 979-705-5132. I repeat it's 979-705-5132, and if you don't return the call, and I don't hear from your attorney, either, then the only thing I can do is wish you a good luck, as the situation unfolds onto you. Goodbye.

Needless to say, I won't be calling this "agent" back.

Received same call May 27, 2014. Only difference is the name of the caller "officer Brian John" and the phone number (202)864-1251.

I received the exact same phone call yesterday, and when I called them back, someone with a German accent told me NOT TO INTERRUPT him while he started reading off a script telling me I had a lawsuit filed against me for fraud! Well needless to say, I interrupted him and said, "I know you are a scam, this isn't the first time this has happened to me, and this call is being traced by my local police department. Now repeat what you just told me, please." What a surprise, he hung up!!!! These people are laughable.

They just called our house. Once I demanded their location, they hung up...Their number was out of Rochester NY, (585)-633-1814. Dirt bags..

I also have received the IRS SCAM call.

Caller was Indian/Pakastani and said his name was "Spencer Reid"... (Oh my, Is this "Spencer Reid" with the FBI Criminal Minds unit? :)) ... Anyway, he left VM on my CELL Phone from 202-506-9418 stating that I should not ignore his call under threat of LEGAL CONSEQUENCES!!! And, I should call him back immediately as this is a very time sensitive issue.

When has it ever been time sensitive when it comes to the Federal Government...

Anyway, I checked and discovered the scam and reported it on the FTC.GOV website.

I got a scam phone call from 979-705-5130 claiming IRS officer. I didn't give any info or pay money. Hope IRS catches these scammers.

Phone number they called from is 1 315-210-6164 identified himself as Officer Brian claiming they are IRS and wished me god luck if I dont call back

i got a call from a scam the number was646 396 1404 fed up

I was a victim of it also they used phone number 202-506-9060 used the name Jacob and that a court officer Kevin Brown was on there way to arrest me for past due taxes. unfortunalty they did get my personal info but no banking info. once I found out this was a scam I called them back and gave them a piece of my mind. IRS will never ask for your info when they already have it and they will not issue a warrant for your arrest.

Tabasam please beaware of calls from phone #202-241-2106 They are scams and threatning the families.

I received a phone call from the "IRS" too. They have been calling me again and again and again... I don't under but they leave a recorded message on my voice mail.

The numbers are: 202-864-1139

Until April 8th: 202-459-0947

This is the second round of calls we have had from the same East Indian man. First with one name, then on my husband's work number trying to disguise his accent with another name and now back on the home line with the Jason Miller name. Each time has been a different phone number. I have no intention of answering the phone or calling back although I may have to confront these idiots to get them to stop calling once and for all. So Annoying, why can't they catch these guys?!

Received 3 calls on our voice mail claiming to be from Tax Audit Dept of IRS stating that they have information that I am guilty of Tax fraud/Evasion and must return the call to 1-800-518-0963. The first 2 calls were difficult to understand the man's accent was so heavy(Indian) The third call was different man (also Indian) same message. Stated Do Not Ignore this Message and have a blessed day!

Got a phone call from 202-241-1435 claiming he was IRS officer and I owed money and IRS sent warrant last year and then sent police to arrest me but I was not home. He said I owed money to IRS from 2008 to 2012 and I need to pay immediately. He said not to hang up the phone and go to CVS or any money transfer place and send money immediately or police will be arresting me soon.

Received call from Agent David Brown from (585) 633-1792 with similar threats as others are reporting.

Received a call from Agent David Brown at (585) 633-1792

Two men with Indian accent and faking American accent called from telephone number 877 827 3687
also got call from 206 708 2849 after and they hung up so not sure if they are also calling from 206. They are saying that they are IRS and are asking for $2,500

Received a call from 202- 241-2103 claiming calling from Treasury crime investigation unit. He had a heavy accent and said he is "agent" Michael Jones with a fake Fed Badge number. To avoid getting arrested needed 3 things one of which was purchasing a "Vanilla" prepaid card for a sum of $1,200. Reported the call to FTC complaint unit. Hope they catch these swindlers.

This one came from Brian Adam officer for DC,TIGTA Ph #: 202-280-7234 on 4/11/2014 as a voice mail. When I called back on 4/14/2014 a girl with Indian accent responded with no clear understanding and when I said if it was a scam she hang up on me!!!!! then when tried to call back I was only getting a VM. This is a civil rights and privacy violation.

I received a fake IRS called today it was very stressful. The more the guy Michael Johnson talked I knew it was a scam. The man had a heavy Indian speaking voice.

I told them that the person has moved and gave them the new telephone number, which just happens to be the local FBI Office!

I'm not convinced that all of these scam calls are coming from the same group, but I really liked Bob's solution, which was to give these clowns the number for the local FBI. In any event, if they call me again I will contact an ex-client who was alleged to have vast knowledge of all things electronic. If, indeed, he is as well informed as was alleged, I will ask him to put his knowledge to good use and try to locate these guys. I am really pissed-off about this and would truly enjoy hanging these clowns out to dry. In the meantime tell them to call you back and then give them the number for some branch of law enforcement.

A guy with an Indian accent named "Franklin Benjamin" (no joke) called me this morning from a 347 area code (showed as NY). He urged me to call back ASAP or my local sheriff's dept. was going to arrest me today. Said that I'd better not ignore the call. I tried to fraud report number in Washington, but only got a full mail box and couldn't leave voice mail. I cannot stand scammers and I plan on doing whatever I can to report this!

I received several calls & messages from David Cooper 202-864-1139 claiming to be the IRS and there is a lawsuit again me. I filed my taxes & received my refund already. Total SCAM.

Got calls from 202-506-9089 and told to call 202-506-9084. "IRS agents" with heavy accents and American names like Lucy Thomas and Gary Peterson. Didn't fall for scam and fake IRS agent told me "never to call this phone number again" after I questioned him and told him the IRS sends letters in the mail when they have a problem. Calling early AM and late PM and waking us up and I have a terminally ill husband - so I think they are calling about him and it is just these scammers.

Got a call from 4152518080 caller id says California. Asked for my non speaking elderly parent. Saying he's from IRS audit department and I knew right away it was a SCAM! I hung up. Called back with blocked number from my cell and told him he's a scam artist and I'm calling the police and IRS. And of course I cursed away because it's people like that take advantage of innocent lives.

Got a phone call yesterday from 1-888-887-0786 from a person named Lee Isaac, claiming to be from the IRS. She had a very heavy Indian accent and I could barely understand her. She said that we miscalculated our taxes from 2008-2012 and now owed $3892.00 which must be paid right away. If we did not pay she would be sending out the sheriff's office with a warrant for my arrest and that I would be served a summons for court and that if it goes to court I would get 6 months in jail and would have to pay $72,000. She gave me a fake claim number and said it would be best if I just paid the $3892.00 today. I told her this is the first I have heard that I owe any taxes and how come I have not received a notice in the mail. She said they sent lots of notices but all had been returned to them? I've lived at the same address for 15 years! She had my name and address, which is pretty freaky. It's a total scam so I called them back and said I spoke to the IRS and that the IRS wanted her ID# and Call site # and that I had spoken to the police, she hung up on me. DO not fall for this scam, it does get your heart pumping but it's not true!

Almost identical to the call I got yesterday...my birthday of all days. I was so upset by the call. Thank God I didn't send them any money but damn they were horribly convincing. It was a 535 number, Kevin Brown. Hope they are caught but they're probably overseas.

Fraud IRS woker (male) called and want tax debt pay over phone. He claim "that was a years of income tax miscalculated. If you don't pay today over phone then police will come get you tomorrow". Anyway, I wish police will knock his door tomorrow for all the SCAM phone call he made today.
Caller: 415-251-8080
Call Type: Debt Collector

I got a call from 888-909-8081, stating that I owed the IRS $1020.64. I was told to go to CVS or Radio Shack and purchase GREEN DOT PAK vouchers, he was going to stay on the line until I purchased the vouchers and then I should read the numbers code on the back of the voucher to him. He stressed that I couldn't tell anyone or I would be arrested and then would have to pay $2500.00. I started to the bank but felt like it just didn't sound right , I had been out of town for more than year and wasn't aware of this scam going on, but after it didn't feel right I thought I better call my children. I hung up and talked with them that's when I heard about he scam. God bless my children.

Tthe IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The agency won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone either.

I received a call and the person demanded I need to pay $8000+ to avoid the case and to stop from arrest.Asked whether I have money and how much I have. Also demanded I need to go rightaway to bank withdraw cash and go to CVS pharmacy or WalMart to get a voucher and I asked him on whose name should it be and was told he will tell once i reach there. I finally told him that I don't need to listen to him as I deal with IRS directly and he hung up. These people are so demanding and create fear and kind of urgency making the issue an emergency

I received a call today from a "James Anderson" with a VERY heavy Indian accent. Claims was from IRS and they had audited my tax returns for past 7 years and had found significant errors in reporting. Since I am actually fighting an error for someone that fraudulently used my EIN #...I thought this was for real. Then, he threatened me that they were filing for an arrest within the next 30-45 minutes. He got irritated when I kept interrupting him (bad habit), telling him that I was already working with my accountant on this. He told me that I needed a criminal attorney, not an accountant. When I told him I would have my accountant call him to try to clear this matter, he hung up. The phone # he called me from is 415-251-7090.

You can file an online complaint at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint. The FTC's complaint database is available to law enforcement agencies. If they are investigating these phone numbers, your complaint might be helpful.

Just got a phone call from this number from “an investigation Department” (very heavy Indian accent) and stated I violate the regulation from IRA, didn’t file the taxes correctly. They will froze my checking and savings, and took all my properties. Stated I will get arrested because I didn’t file my tax correctly in 2011 and 2012. I asked them to present me a formal document, but they are refused to present that document to me and stated they have been sending me the notifications and I choose not to do anything about it. I am going to report this call and there are three man in the phone calls and they all have heavy accent. They have my full name and my mailing address…
I got a name Roy Wilson, a batch number W156780, another name Mike White. They say my case number is 237CBR6619.

Got a call from a man with an Indian accent,who claimed that due to an audit we owe $2,500 which needs to be paid immediately otherwise I will face criminal charges. And people will show up at my house to take a government notified voucher.They used fake names Kevin Marshall and his "manager" Jack Williams. Their phone is #202 241 2073. Unbelievable!!!!

I have received 2 calls to date claiming that I have evaded taxes and a committed tax fraud. They go on to say that this will be taken to Federal Claims court, and that the County sheriff has been notified for my potential arrest. Both calls were from heavily accented males (Indian accents), with clearly American names. Clearly fraudulent. The number that I was to call was 1-888-887-2003. Is there anything we can do to get back at them legally (aside for filing complaints)?

Receive a recorded call from 585-444-7053 today stating they were from the IRS and I need to press one or call them back. If not, I will "suffer the consequences".

The guy said the same thing to me, I will "suffer the consequences".

wow, I got calls from this number also, I was told that my case was going in front of the Michigan Supreme court within the hour, If I didn't come up with $3,898.32 I talked to Kevin Brown, his brother (I assume!) Brandon Brown David Jones, and Mr. Wonderful, Officer Julian Marshall. When I told them I was on Welfare (which I am not!!) and I didn't think people on welfare have to pay taxes, he hung up on me! Guess he didn't like my source of income! Ha Ha!

Had a long conversation with one of the scammers using the number 703-594-5004. He basically verified that it was a scam and that they are located in Indian and then laughed at the stupid Americans falling for it. And continued to talk about American racism and civil liberties and such. I really hope these people are found and prosecuted, it sickened me that he found this funny.

I received a message from a Jason Connor saying he was from the IRS & to call him @ 585-444-7053. When I called, there was no answer. He had a very strong Indian accent!

This is most likely a scam. It's best not to call back. If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions. If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.

Our scammer also has what sounds like an Indian accent, his name is "KEVIN PETERSON". He called from 213-375-0944 on 4/6/14. These phone numbers are likely bouncing from other numbers all over the world. This number comes up in Los Angeles. They are so brazen that they are still taking calls at this number today 4/16/14, identifying themselves as IRS DEPT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS, over a week after we reported them to the FTC! He was aggressive, hostile and very convincing until he demanded I get in my car immediately, call him from my cell phone remaining on the line with him throughout, and drive to WAL MART! The IRS is sending us to WAL MART?! We keep calling him back to harass him after what he put us through, and he keeps answering the phone! Unbelievable! This is how he makes his living! His family must be so proud.

Same thing to me today. "Kevin Peterson" from IRS calling about a law suit filed against my spouse.

Call back number: 866-978-6981

Had a superior call me back. Both had distinctive Asian/Indian accents. They hung up immediately when I said I would have my tax attorney call them back.

This is a scam. The IRS does not initiate business by telephone.

I have been having problems with these same ppl for at least 3months now.I tried to get a payday loan and that's when it all began.They have been behind the computer screen tracking me all this time. They have alot of different names of loan companies .. They are sending me email Publishers Clearing House even surveys you can do on line so it's not just the IRS I wanted to let everyone know to Beware and keep your eyes open they call me with strange no 000-000-0000 anybody else?

Received a call this morning from 202-241-2126 (found out later that it is a MagicJack number and that it was no longer in use 3 hours later). A "junior inspector John Wills" claimed he was from the Tax Administration of the CIA. He claimed I had overdue taxes and that the local police was coming to my house with an arrest warrant and to take possession of my property. When I asked to talk to his superior, I got one "Amanda Smith, senior Inspector". She had a heavier accent than the first one and haltingly repeated the claim of Mr. "Wills". When I stated that I would get my attorney to contact them, she told me I needed a criminal attorney, since this was a criminal case! When I called back a couple of hours later, the number was no longer in service.

James Anderson, thick Indian accent. Threatened the same written above.

i spoke to james today what a bunch of bastards i called them back and told them to loose my number

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