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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 just received a call from the same number this afternoon. Stating from a machine not to disregard this message that my account needs to be taken care of or they will take legal action against me. I have not called the number back yet. The machine's voice is not clear and I did not hear a business name or a person's name. The machine speaks with a loud unclear voice.

I received two telephone calls from some one saying he was from the IRS Tax and Audit Department. Stating I that if I didn't return his call, I will be in trouble with the IRS and to call him immediately. He gave me two telephone numbers of 1-703-828-0433 and 1-703-828-0419. I did not return any of his calls.

Also today March 26, 2015 I received another call from a person named Dennis Quaid telephone number 1-386-338-0464. He stated that he was from the US Treasury Department and I should return his to avoid an I encroachment Action. I did not return any of his calls today.

I hope you can find these scam artist soon.

I got a call today from Brandon Brown, must be Kevin's cousin.214-628-5348.

I have received a call from this number, he was introduced himself as Brown and saying that some criminal case has filled on us which is criminal case for some miss tax returns calculation. But I was immediately consulted my lawyer, he said that call was some fake call, please don't provide any information.

I got a call from Officer Kevin Brown today stating he is with the fraud department of the IRS. He was of middle eastern accent and I could barely understand him. When I asked to speak to a supervisor he hung up. Ive tried calling the number several times and keeps hanging up on me. Is there anything that can be done about this.

I knew a person received a call from Kevin Brown....so called IRS person, wanted him to send some monies or he'll go to jail. I to him instantly SCAMMER! So people be aware. Don't fall for these idiots.

Got call from same number yesterday asking for 2500$ to settle.be aware.they yell when you say don't pay

It is big fraud should be caught these crooks

I received a call from the same number yesterday. The recording said that the IRS Officer's name was Heather. Little do they know that I have enough common sense to know that if I really owed the IRS I wouldn't have received a refund when I filed my taxes a month ago. Stupid...get a job, because I work too hard for my money to just give it away.

I just got a call from Office Heather Gray with a 415 area code. It was automated message saying to call back and not to ignore the message. I was worried because I'm self-employed and filed an extension which I haven't completed yet. Called back and the VM was full. I figured it was a scam since I've received similar calls in the past.

Received a recorded call from Officer Heather Gray as well this morning. Call back number was 202.506.8738. Figured that I should check online to confirm my suspicions and I'm glad I did. And yes, these scammers should be caught!

I got one from Heather this morning from the same number. Busy girl, she is.

Got the same message from Officer Heather Gray (supposedly) two days in a row. I'm in Massachusetts. Same phone number.

I got a fake IRS call from 202-506-8649 Friday 7/25/14

my boss got the same call from the same number the same day, but i had enough sense to call the IRS and alert them of it!!! i guess they were busy calling all day that day!

I received two voicemails this week from Officer Heather Gray with a call back number 202-506-9967.

You can file a formal complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Yes .. this "officer" Heather Gray is going around in Tucson, Arizona with identical message as yours. It sounded "robotic" .. definitely not a real human voice .. the call was dated on June 11 and the number she wanted me to call back was 415-251-9738. I think 415 is the Bay Area California zip. Tucson has a big senior population and I thin that's why the scammer targeted this area. Can FTC trace this number to arrest these bastards?

Got the same voicemail from Heather Gray this afternoon from Novato, CA, #415-251-1037, and I live in NV.. It's great to know we are all concerned individuals posting so others can be forewarned.

Same exact voicemail and name. I'm in Ohio. Confirmed this is a scam. Do not call the number back, answer any questions or pay anything!!!

got call from heather gray today, charlotte nc are recorded message. not calling back thanks for heads up

Thank you for all the posting one thing about the internet is we can find out that there are scumbags out there ... my heart was beating so fast when I heard the message from Heather Gray... again thank you all for posting ..... we need to ban together and get these scumbags arrested.. unfortunately there are senior citizens etc that do not use the technology we do.

Thanks to everyone for posting this warning. Agent Heather Gray left a message on our machine today. It makes me wonder: how can these scammers afford all of these different phone numbers?

They fake the caller ID information that you see on your phone. That's called caller ID spoofing — and new technology makes it very easy to do. Read more about robocalls in this article.

Same message this morning.202 506 8657...Knew it was a scam since IRS DOES NOT call. They will hound with mail, but, never call.

I received a VM called the number 415-251-9738 it was answered by someone with an accent Named Officer Matthews with the IRS Investigation Division. I asked for his badge number and what this was about. He told me I had received a letter dated June 2 and had not responded and that the payment agreement I had with the IRS had be revoked and that on Monday morning I would be arrested for Tax Evasion that a warrant was issued for my arrest. He had my mailing address and then when I was like I did not receive any notice, he hung up on me. I called back and he answered again and I played dumb and said we were disconnected he told me that no he hung up on me as he had no further information for me and that I needed an attorney and that the attorney could call back. I was like well this has been handled by the Oak Brook Illinois office and then he got even more rude and told me that when I was arrested on Monday they would have all the documentation to explain it all, but that their have been changes to the recent IRS collection agreements "dont you watch TV or read the news"?

Got robocall from 202-506-9812 this morning, saying it was Heather Gray with the IRS, and I needed to call her back immediately at this number. Since I have been on Social Security for several years, and have not been required to file a tax return, I was suspicious. I researched on the internet, and found this. Has anyone reported her to the IRS or any other government authority?

This message appeared as a visual voice message today: "Time sensitive. My officer Heather Grey from Internal Revenue Service and the hotline to my division is 2025069860. I repeat it's 2025069860. Don't disregard this message and do return the call before we take any legal allegation against you. Goodbye and take care." "Officer Heather Grey" is at it again! Thanks for all the comments here from others as warning.

Same exact name and message received today 7/11/14. incoming number was 2025068650 from heather gray. Why can't these scam artists be found and jailed! Unbelievable. She would have been more believable if she said her name was Lois Lerner. Thank goodness for the internet and public blogs.

7/24/14 same call I report it to the cops and IRS I CALLED BACK AND GOT A VERY NASTY SOUNDING HEAVY ACCENTED INDIAN GUY WHO TOLD ME THEY HAD A LAWSIUT AND WILL SEND ME TO JAIL FOR 5 YEARS I GOT HIM MAD WITH CONTINUED QUESTION AND HE SAID THE COPS COMING TO ARREST YOU NOW

Let the answering machine get that call, same guy you described; he said his name was Shawn Stifford and there was a "legal petition notice" concerning a tax fraud and that I needed to call back or have my attorney call back before this goes to court. Called ID read: 1-888-325-0960.

Hahaha I think I got the same guy
He said his name was jack Johnson and I told him he surely doesn't sound like Jack Johnson. Lol

Yes, he said the exact same thing to me. It shook me up. He got my last 4 digits, but I was told he can't do anything with them, to be safe, I alerted all my account info. Same thing, heavy accented Indian man, who told me the exact same thing. I asked for a manager and the SAME moron got on the phone. I called the police right away.

I just received the very same call and this David Brown told me the same exact thing and when my husband and I started to question him he hung up on us.

I got one one too, using the same taped message....Get a real losers!

So glad I found this! Just listened to an identical voicemail as transcribed above from "Officer Heather Gray" of the IRS threatening "legal allegation" against me if I don't return her call! Scared me for a split second, glad to know for sure it's a scam! The number that called me was 415-251-8730

Also got the same automated call from Officer Heather Grey. Phone number this time (202) 506-9906.

Let's keep posting, so Google picks up all the fake numbers and names!!! Plus, it gives a reference to the timeline and other victims can figure how current these scams are.

We also got the same phone call today 7/28/14 claiming to be from IRS and call back number IRS hot line 202 609 7006.Called our tax preparer and adviced us to ignore it.. it's a scam. My husband felt nervous about it for split seconds but then as they go along with the conversation and started threathening him,he will be arrested by the local police as soon as they hung up the phone.

Nearly identical message from a robotic female voice message of "officer Heather Grey" received in PA, including the words "legal allegation", but with a 415-251-8730 return number. Twice, on 7/10/14, I had this same call! 1 @ 4:07 and 1 at 6:21 (voicemail time stamp). Likely called my 2 different telephone lines.

It sounded like a hoax, but, I did initially try and return the call, which rang with no answer, then found this site.

In a culture of abuse and corruption, how could we get these scam artists to focus their talent on honest work?

Just got a call saying "the IRS is suing you. We've been trying to reach you. Call back right away at (something like) (272)-864-1166 I couldn't find a pen to recall correctly. Seems they may be learning, because NO name was given, the recording sounded more "pro," though I knew the IRS doesn't call like that. Finally, this call was from "private number," so we can't trace it back! This really BUGs me, as people still fall for it. The complaints are made to an IRS fraud site, and the scams can be very convincing. I want as much info as possible to file. Anyone else get the same?

Same exact thing happened to me. They called and claimed the IRS is suing me and provided a case number. Couldn't get to write the case number since they were pretty fast. I checked with local IRS office and they confirmed I don't own any money to the IRS. The number they called from was 217 398 9755. I'm going to report it.

"...take any legal allegation" doesn't even make sense.
She called me numerous times on 7/8 (202-506-8649), and started up again today(202-506-9679).

Yes, Heather Gray is a very busy girl. When I listened to her message it scared me a little bit, but since I don't owe the IRS any money I figured it was a scam. Sickening, how they can't seem to find a real job and make their own money. Thank goodness I found this site. I didn't think the IRS would call and leave a message.

Got a call from 202-751-2556

Got a call from 202) 506-8418,very similar number to the others. Got voicemail from Jessica Leubin, making claims theres a lawsuit filed against me blah blah blah.

He asks, "do you remember the student loans you took out?" im like, "which ones what year?" he said 2010-2013? I didnt even take out loans during those times. He says DONT call the IRS you'll just be wasting your time. His name is Jesse James. Anyone else get calls from him? GRR!!!

Got a call claiming a lawsuit as well. Keep getting different people calling w this message including a robocall

Got a call from 202-506-9746 . . . Ms Gray is busy in Michigan as well. Have received that same call before and just ignored it . . . .

came home from vaca to have 2 messages on my vm from officer Heather Gray from 415-251-8730 to call back and not avoid her calls. Thanks for keeping me calm!

We are from NH and ""Received a call from female identifying herself as IRS Officer Hannah Gray stating this is time sensitive, with directions to call this hotline number and not "disregard" this message "before we take any legal allegation against you. Goodbye and take care."""

CALLER ID: 1-415-251-9782

I just received the exact same message and completely panicked! THANK GOD for google!! I immediately flipped and called the number to get a NON-IRS recording.....I then thought wait a minute, the IRS usually sends mail and doesn't make phone calls. PHEW! Thanks for posting!

Yes, also there is NO SUCH THING as a "legal allegation". Lol! That's like saying a "legal illegal claim" - it cancels itself out. They either meant only allegation OR legal action, but since these scammers are from India, their English grammar is poor. Glad you figured it out in time.

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