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Another tax scam: IRS imposters

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tax identity theft logoTax identity theft is the theme of the week, but it’s not the only tax scam we’re talking about. Complaints to the FTC about IRS imposter scams have shot up over the last year — by almost 50,000 complaints.

Here’s what happens: You get a call from a scammer pretending to be with the IRS, saying you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay taxes you owe right now. You’re told to wire it or put it on a prepaid debit card. They might threaten to deport you or say you’ll lose your driver’s license. Some even know your Social Security number, and they fake caller ID so you think it really is the IRS calling.

But it’s all a lie. If you send the money, it’s gone.

IRS Imposter Scams

IRS Imposter Scams Infographic

 

When you have a tax problem, the IRS will first contact you by mail. The IRS won’t ask you to wire money, pay with a prepaid debit card, or share your credit card information over the phone.

If you get a call like this, file a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov. You also can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If you’re concerned there’s a real problem, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

Want to help your friends and family? Share this infographic and get more information at ftc.gov/taxidtheft.

Comments

I just got an automated call saying this is the final notice that the IRS has been trying to contact me and is suing me. It said I should call 907 297 9033 immediately. I hung up and did not call.

I received 3 calls in two days from a no caller id, 202-558-6614nd 224-999-2875. All stated I owed money to IRS and last chance to pay before lawsuit and/or arrest.

21 July 2016. 0904 hrs AM

I just got the same thing here in AZ from the (206) area code in NW Washington State. No Caller ID because I don't have it. No voice on the other end, just a pre-record that starts as soon as you pick-up (I never said a word, but did 'huff' to get it started). Very aggressive 20 second rant that dropped the IRS bomb twice, and mentioned prosecution and arrest. An amount was never mentioned, nor was 'cause'.

I haven't worked in years and live well below the poverty line. I did get a small inheritance a month ago. Maybe that triggered the Scammers. So 1) The Estate lawyer is crooked. 2) Wells Fargo employee is selling names vulnerable to IRS intimidation, or 3) The Scammers have a mole in the IRS.... duhnt! duhnt! duhnn!

202-558-2295 Get calls from this one about every few days (before 9am usually). Says final notice from the IRS automated voice. I hope its the final one since I am getting tired of these calls! KNOW it is a scam, wanted to let others know of additional numbers they are calling from.

Got a phone call today from (206)483-0015, they left a voicemail saying this was my last warning and I'm being sued by the irs if I don't respond. It was a fake robotic female voice, the voice even stumbled over words. It's a fake too.

Got a call from ALLEGEDLY the IRS saying that they were suing me. No id of me personally or notice number. IS this a scam? Tel 408-250-2541

The IRS does not make first contact with taxpayers by phone.

Please report your experience to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at tigta.gov. You also can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If you’re concerned there’s a real problem, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

Received my first voicemail a few days ago (automated) saying return this call or hire a criminal lawyer, the choice was mine but if i choose to ignore good luck to me. 4 Days later I was at work got a call from the same number (325)603-4835 Abilene Texas and when I answered this time a foreign girl starts the conversation by saying this call is being recorded and this is the Federal Treasury on behalf of the IRS if you hang up we will take this as you are guilty of the criminal acts you have been evading us for and you will be arrested within an hour.

I was taken so completely off guard and when you are sitting at work on your lunch break and this person starts telling you that you will be arrested if you do not do exactly what they tell you and get them at least half of what you owe the IRS you just go numb. I was in total shock. The lady told me to get to my car for further instructions. She told me that everything was being recorded and if I tried to ask for help or tell anyone what was going on it would be a violation of federal law and i would be arrested for that.

She told me since I had never been in any trouble in the past that I could pay half today and then be put on a payment plan. They said I owed $4800 from 2010-2015 for mis filing tax returns and not completely claiming all income. They tell you that they have put your warrant on hold and you need to come up with half of the money. I had never heard anything about these types of scams ever and I have never been in any type of trouble and all you think is I can't be arrested. I can't lose everything.

They pass you off to a senior officer and his name was Jonathan Green. He says he will do everything he can to help you but you need to really try to get some of the money. I gave them all I had which was $1500 and I did it in the form of Itunes gift cards. I told him that was all i had. He told me I had the rest of the weekend to come up with the rest of the money by monday morning. I have to have $3000 by monday morning.

He said my phones are tapped my families phones are tapped, he told me my address, he told me that he has someone watching me and if I try to go to the authorities I will be arrested on the spot because the warrant will be activated. He told me I can not speak to this with anyone or they will know and I will be arrested. This was Friday the 30th of July.

.I did not sleep at all and I scared my family half to death when I called and asked them to borrow the rest of the money but couldnt tell them why I needed it. On saturday morning I just knew in my gut something wasnt right. I decided screw it and I googled IRS and payment and owing taxes and so forth. As soon as I did that, the first thing that came up was the newest scam that is going on. ITUNES giftcards..OMG i was sooooooo pisssed.

How dare you people scare someone and take my money and so many others. I hope you rot in hell. I am telling my story so hopefully I help someone else. I didn't have time to google and look things up because they caught me off guard at work and I had never heard any of the rules about what the IRS will and wont do when the contact you. I never thought something like this would happen to me. Please know the irs will never contact you by phone and they will never ask for giftcard payments. I knew it didnt sound right but they scare the crap out of you and put such a fear in you that you are so afraid to question it and when you simply don't know you do what you have to. I doubt they actually call me back since they got something from me but if he does, I will have my say.

Thank you for sharing your story. Please help law enforcement and report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You could also contact the customer service department of the store that sold you the iTunes cards and tell them what happened.

Just last week my 16 yr old son got a similar voicemail message last week from number 206-866-0374 from someone identified as "Kevin Mason" with mumble jumbles about "enforcement action", "federal offense" and "US Treasury". I told my son to ignore it. The Fed can send us a letter if there was really an issue with my son. The kid has not even working to get call from US Treasury for tax... LOL.

Yeah they sent me a message to and try to pull that but not from me sorry i said bring it and they called from 424-738-0676.

Hank. What I find so interesting is that people can so easily spoof the system. What if those people are terrorists trying to get money to fund their activities? Would it be so easy for terrorists to do so?

its not true

213-304-5185 is giving this scam a shot.. 2 times today so far

We have been receiving calls, we never answer goes to the answering machine, first it was a recorded message, then a guy with a very fluent English. Again the recorded message but it is annoying having to receiving this calls or not even answer my own calls because of this type of scams... The number was 206.259.7940 IRS filing lawsuit against me....
Enough of this someone needs to stop this people...

Today, I received the 5th call. It went on and on about an enforcement action which has been executed by the U. S. tax dept., etc...........One of the calls was a man who had an accent from India. I feel badly for older people who could fall for this scam. I don't understand why they can't capture these evil people and put a stop to this. It comes up as unknown caller, but they gave a number and this is it - 530-364-0319.

I got one of these calls from 206-238-0111 today at 11:33 am. Most of all, I'm amazed that they would leave a message. I know there must be plenty of people out there who fall for this - although it really is a mystery to me why. How does this continue so easily? I'm shocked that it has been steadily going on and apparently can't be stopped.

I just got the same type of call others have described. After I reported it to tigta.gov and ftc.gov/complaint (as listed in the above info graphic), I called the number that had called me -- 919-269-5729. It just rang and rang, with no answer. Probably the # was "spoofed."

I have been receiving calls, pre-recorded stating to call 724-813-8527 (east coast area code) because the IRS is starting litigation action against me. I call the number, the individual with heavy accent claims to be from the IRS. I did not follow through and hanged up. Calls continue however. This is for the week of Aug 19 and Aug 22. IRS needs to shut down these entities now. IRS should care more about taxpayers. Place high priority at finding and closing these entities, and fining them big time.

Today I got a call from 488-664-1819 claiming to be from the IRS Officer Brown IRS badge 026418. Claimed the call was being recorded and there was a file against me for unpaid taxes and I had to pay today or be arrested, assets seized, etc. The heavy accent, demand for money and the fact they wanted me to leave right now to get money and not to tell anyone about this. They also wanted me to call 202-241-0935 on my cell phone to keep that open too. I immediately got on the phone to the IRS to report it

This has happen to me 3 times now the number that is calling me is 213-379-4902

(206) 984-0602 called early (before 7:00 am) saying he was an officer and there was a case against me fro the IRS. he even gave me a fake case number and batch number!!

The number 585 358 9874 has called twice on 29 August saying the IRS has a case against me

I just got a call from 805-445-4771. I googled the phone number and it seems to be linked to an IRS office in California. I am not sure how these scammers manage to impersonate legit numbers. I also did not catch the name of the person and I hung up within 1 minute of the call. The caller had a very heavy Asian Accent. It would be nice if out Government made a serious effort to stop these bastards.

Voicemail from (206) 259-9129
"Hello this call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filling lawsuit on your name because you had tried to do a fraud with the IRS Internal Revenue Service. And we are taking legal action and we are issuing an arrest warrant on your name to get more information regarding this case file. Just call us back on our department number 206-259-9129. I will repeat it 206-259-9129. Thank you."

Wow...

I received a call many months ago stating I was being sued by the IRS. I returned the call out of curiosity, I knew I wasn't never delinquent for any tax related rigmarole. "Officer Robert Smith" (really?), with a very thick sounding middle Eastern accent, stated I was being sued for failure of paying taxes from 2011 & 2012. Knowing it was a scam I was compelled to string him along and have a little fun myself. I couldn't resist. Now, months later I received a call from an automated message claiming to be the IRS which was filing a lawsuit. Once again a scam, such as everyone on this post received. Don't panic, it is a scam. However, call your accountant or IRS if you are truly unsure. Good luck to all.

Received today a call from 202-846-9027 this afternoon at 2:24 PST 9/13/2016. I do not answer from area codes or phone numbers that I don't recognize. I let the call go to voice mail on my answering machine -at first I didn't think anyone was going to say something but they did. It sounded like a gentleman with a heavy foreign accent. It sounded British to me. He was yelling into the phone because I guess he could not hear himself talking because there was a lot of people in the background like they were calling from a room or calling center. This guy said that we were being investigated by the IRS and that we committed fraud and or tax evasion-he didn't sound too sure of which one. Anyway that we had 24 hours to comply and that we needed to call 202-846-9027 otherwise they would continue with legal proceedings against us. That our assets and bank accounts would be frozen within 24 hours ...There are 3 people who live here so who was he trying to scam?I am a victim of ID theft so anytime someone wants to bugg me about my taxes or is calling from the IRS they have to give me a certain code and if they don't give me the correct code then I know it is a scam. Every year I get a different code from the IRS because of this...I have been unemployed for 6 months so these scammers would be very disappointed with my assests because I don't have any to lose. I have reached out to my accountant and tax advisor whom I have been to since the 1990's for advice. Please be careful and watch out for this number 202-846-9027.

I'm a Brit working for a UK division of a US owned company in Mexico. As an interim I have a US cell number and just received an automated call from 18504641660 saying there was a lawsuit against me. Panicked for a millisecond but as I've never lived or worked in the US why would I owe the IRS any money ? Obviously a scam but I can see how this could make someone of a nervous disposition panic and end up being taken in.

Just the same annoying robot, again... New number same bacteria 805-774-8834 Just add to the list and hope what goes around comes around (sigh)

I just got the same thing from 206-209-1579. I have 4 kids and they threatened to arrest me!

I receive those calls currently every day. I would like to know what FTC is actually doing about it in addition to just posting the warning about them which, apparently, resolves nothing.

Left me a message to call them back at 512-813-7286. Said that IRS is filing a lawsuit against me and that I needed to call back immediately. I knew it was a scam right away. I'm not stupid. IRS would never threaten such a thing over the phone. If anything, they always send notifications through the mail first. Plus, IRS would never start off with telling you to pay immediately. They usually will give you a timeframe. I've been audited by the IRS in the past and if they saw any discrepecies, they send me a letter in the mail. No threats were ever made. Becareful. So many idiots are getting aways with fraud and they will always change up their scams once a scam is too well known.

Got a call from 202-239-2278 with an automated message saying that I was being sued by the IRS. It's a scam but it's important to actually report these things to the Treasury Inspector General. Their website is in the info graphic above. Complete scam, didn't bother calling back, just blocked their number.

Have had several calls. I always check the Area Code and then call back. Love to mess with these people. I play dumb, pretend I am scared, and start asking questions. Like if they will tell me what the IRS stands for. Then, when they use the exact phrase that brings them firmly into the realm of falsely impersonating a governmental body (IRS can mean anything, but "Internal Revenue Service" is unmistakable, and now there are laws being violated.), I file a complaint with the Office of the Investigator General. If you are going to do that, record the phone numbers, the names you get (false or not), the times, and a transcript of the call. I had one guy who was obviously trained not to use the name "Internal Revenue Service" and he started yelling and calling me all sorts of names, foul language and all. I had his screaming so loud and was baiting him so hard I thought he was going drop dead of a heart attack. It was funny. I then tracked his phone number, identified the location and the phone provider, read the phone provider's terms of service, contacted the sheriff in his county and filed a complaint and then contacted the phone company and listed 8 of the terms of service that he had violated in making the calls.

I just got a recorded call from 202 241-1593, saying that the IRS is serving a "warrant for my arrest" and to call that same number immediately. I did not call. PR Miami

I received a robocall today from a number without an area code 201-7013 claiming to be an IRS agent saying I had committed tax evasion. For starters I've not even received my W-2's for last year yet. It gave me a number with a 202 prefix to call which I obviously didnt. Anyone familiar with this?

Received a message from 360-313-6186 that the IRS has a lawsuit case against me.

These scams are still happening. I got a call yesterday from someone of the name Mark Smith. He told me I owe $4000 in taxes and if I did t pay I would go tonsil. I fell for it how stupid do I feel right now.Ended up giving them $2000 in iTunes gift cards.i felt scared and now I feel stupid.

Call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 right away. You might have to spend some time on hold. Tell them what happened. Ask if they can disable the cards before the scammer takes the value.

Also, go back to the store that sold you the cards. Talk with their customer service staff. If someone calls again and wants you to send an iTunes card, please tell the FTC.

Got a call today February 14th 2017 I had a feeling it was a scam and now that I read all this above and then some I know for sure the phone number 240 219 0033 Maryland an Indian lady are Pakistani and more like it couldn't pronounce my name right I barely understood her said the IRS had overpaid Me by $3,000 I haven't filed taxes five years she was way off when I question her she repeatedly said the phone call was being recorded I said thank you very much I give me your name and your ID she stuttered was her name and gave me a bogus ID at the very first just a mention of IRS kind of shook me up thanks for all of this info we need a better update for Modern Age tax Collections and payments not just a social security number is way outdated it's been giving out look on the back of your Social Security card do not carry this card on you is it legal to keep the card on you read the back of your card people but yet we can do nothing without it you cannot do anything without your card on your person we need an update all of our numbers have been so stolen giving out and sold two countries will never know the total extent we need an update

779-228-2006 called, left no voicemail, and was a dial tone when I called back just to see what scammer it was. I blocked the number and looked at these reviews. The IRS would never make a phone call... they only mail letters. These are obviously scammers.

+234 706 338 6318 I got call three time

I just received a canned phone call supposedly from the IRS and I promptly hung up because the IRS does not contact people with canned phone messages. Then someone from the same (206) area code called but as soon as they heard they reached the Fire Department, they hung up this time.

It is nice that the Police Department is a few feet away so I could let them know. Ha Ha!

Be on the look out for the following number: 386-401-1065. An automated voice calls and says the IRS has a lawsuit against you.

Here is one that called me claiming to be IRS. Now I also hassle them. (209) 435-9758 They used several names and IRM numbers.

Received a call from 202-684-6838 saying I filed a fraudulent and misconduct tax report.Thanks to caller id I didn't answer the phone and will not be calling them back.

I had a similar situation from a phone call from Texasfrom 1346 203 8538 from the gentleman by the name of Maxwell Johnson saying he's from the IRS said that I owe 3700 ..... and if I did not resolve this two-day on the phone with him at this point that they would send a sheriff to my house within 48 hours... I called the IRS directly to verify that this was a scam

received call today 3/28/2017 from 202-840-3659 this was automated voice of lady claiming You’re being sued and this your final notice this is the irs and we are filing a lawsuit against you, you need to call this number immediately. This number was 884-840-3093. This scam consumer.ftc.gov/blog/voicemail-irs-imposter

Just received a phone call from 562-317-0386 telling me the IRS has been trying to reach me to let me know that they are going to file a lawsuit against me if I didn't call them back at the phone number the call came from. I didn't bother to call the number as I figured this was a scam. Just curious.... Do they know that I happen to OWE the IRS this year so they are choosing those people who are already upset about having to pay?

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