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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 You also can file a complaint with the FTC at 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


I just got the call today as well. They left a voicemail saying this is my final notice and that the IRS is filling a lawsuit against me and that I am to call 312-366-1014. It scared the living daylights out of me! I called the local police to verify and they reassured me it was the scam. I pray for all those who have fallen trap to this scam.....

I just got a call from 323-729-3132. They told me that I was audited for the past 7 years and found I committed tax fraud. They said my bank accounts would be frozen & that I would be arrested and criminally charged with tax fraud. Initially, I went into distress & went to crying and hollering because I never commited fraud and too scary to commit crimes anyway. I immediately hung up the phone & called my husband who suggested to me that its most likely a scam. Please do something about this because I was generally distressed and about to have a nervous breakdown until my husband insisted this was a scam.

Im 12 yrs old and they said there were gonna file a lawsuit against me but the article help me

I just finish hanging up with Jack Watson Badge# 2563 said i had 3 violation with the IRS , outstanding balance needed to pay or i will be taken to court. I hang up , IRS will not contact you through phone calls only through mail at home. Please avoid scams

Thank you for the info. I will have some fun next time they call

I got a call Friday from a gentle man also Indian from a 513 839 2485 number saying j was being sued for red flags on my taxes and fraud AMD threatened jail time new all my info

Just called them up and said This is the sheriff's office and we have your place surrounded!! :)

i just got a call from 1-773-536-1308 saying they had a warrent for our arrest and they were from the federal government. and wanted to talk to my husband but when they found out that he wasnt there they ok ty and wanted to hang up.

I just got a call that I did not answer. It left a robotic call saying the IRS was watching me and going to arrest me and I needed to call back immediately. The number is 206-681-9891. I never answere calls from a number I don't know.

8/15/2017 - I've been getting random calls throughout the last month from all different area codes. Some are NY area codes, where I live and some are out of state. I don't typically answer the out of state but I answer the local ones because in my line of work I am expecting calls from local people. Most of the time it starts with a recording saying "this is an urgent warning.." , then I hang up. I just received the voice mail from a Coral spring florida number. It left a voicemail on my phone with a recording saying "this is officially a final notice that the IRS is going to file a lawsuit against you and please call immediatley on our department line at 954 - 507 - 1309." I am not going to call back and I blocked the number but it seems they will continue to contact even if you block the numbers.

The IRS WILL contact you with a phone call - it's in the Internal Revenue Manual that they MUST call if it will resolve an issue quicker than mail. These types of stories are making it really difficult for the real agents to do their jobs! Especially since we must use the SSN as part of the disclosure process and our phone numbers do show up as false ones. Shame on you!!!

The IRS makes the first contact with a person by mail – not by phone. The IRS won’t ask you to pay with a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

No legitimate IRS agent would have a problem with educating the public on scams run by the lowest punks in the free world. Only one reason you would post a comment like that. Shame on YOU.

It's a scam. These criminals are out posting all reasons why this is real on various forums. Are you one of them?

You are so full of it! The IRS does not call people!

It's clear from this that the scammers are trolling message boards to spread disinformation and make it easier to fool people. Don't listen to this garbage from "WorksAtIRS".

ARE YOU part of this scam?

WorksAtIRS, you should read the information on this site again - it clearly states that the IRS DOES NOT CALL people. Period! I received a call from 202-684-6584. In fact, they called me FIVE times in a 3-hour period before I answered the phone. Before the caller could even get the words "fraud" and "tax evasion" out of her mouth, I informed her that calling me was against IRS protocol and wanted her name and number so I could call an IRS agent and ask why I am being contacted by phone. She quickly hung up.

My husband just received an automated call from 347-584-8650. He was freaking out even after I explained all the things you all have discussed! Grrrr! These people!! :(

WorksAtIRS is correct, the prefferred initial contact method for a Revenue Agent (field examinations) is a telephone call per IRM For office or correspondence examinations, a letter will be mailed. For a Revenue Officer (field collection,) initial contact is made via personal visit per IRM If it isn't field collection, letters will be sent. The important thing to note is that the intial contact for Collection is never made by call which is what these scammers do.

Google IRM This section refers to artwork NOT phone contacts. Scammer reveal thyself!!

Maybe you are one of these scammers who don't want the public to know about the fraud that is happening as a result of innocent people believing the call is legit. Also, people should NEVER EVER give their SSN out to anyone over the phone. What do you mean that the IRS legit phone #SHAMEs show up as false ones??? SHAME ON YOU!!! I doubt you even work for the IRS. Then again. you sound like a tool so maybe you do....I just got one of these calls and I'm hoping that these jerks get caught!!

I was a victim of this scam

I rec'd a call on feb 13,2015 from these guys. I was scared to death and really thought I was going to jail. My husband told me to just hang up and so I did, but it was traumatic. His name "Jack O'Conner". To all: No IRS doesn't call. And these guys can't handle dealing with a crying person. The threats become worse.
Today 5/29/15 I get another call. This time about my Mother in law who passed away 2012. So I kept him (this time "Allan Shaw" from # 202-684-1311) on the phone for over an hour. I was going to go on but it was time for me to call from cell phone, stay on line to get the 'electronic voucher'. I calmly asked if he knew how old my mother (he hung up when I was pretend to be MIL and asked if I could call him back that I needed to call my daughter to take me to the bank. I tried for 30 min to recall but it would only ring once then go to busy signal. So, wanted to keep him going I called from cell phone and he answered on the first ring. He had said that she owed $8925.00)He said yes he understood how old she was but that this needed to be handled immediately. Then, I almost kept it going and was going to call back from cell and fake it for much longer but i'd finally had enough. I then said, "well, if you know exactly how old she is then please tell me so...etc, then I said a few choice words, and said that you really are stupid trying to con a dead woman! I figure, the longer he's bs'ing with me that's that many fewer calls he is making.
I have noticed that many who rec'd these calls are on Social Security. This maybe how they are getting their information.
Take care to all, and hopefully at some point these bastards will be caught!!!

You have a stronger stomach than I do or too much time on your hands. Some how I've joined the ranks of those getting phone scam calls - is it because I am over 55? It started in May 2016 and I have had 3 more since then, two in the last two days. The first 2 were IRS scams with vague threats of action against me from callers with heavy accents from numbers 206-451-5554 and then 206-823-3919. The last 2 were identical messages saying I under federal investigation of my identity and physical address (whatever that means) by the State Investigation Dept, and if I don't call they will download the case to the courthouse. Their number is 202-683-7463. I have spoken to none of them as my phone might get thrown across the room. It makes me so mad that they fool other people with these threats. It needs to be stopped. I have reported the first 2 to the federal govt and the last 2 to my state's consumer protection agency.

I received a bogus IRS call. The caller left a voice mail message directing me to call 240-547-2006 as soon as possible. Message ignored.

Please provide a direct link so that consumers may report an IRS Telephone Scam without going on a wild goose chase all over your website. The scam is happening in Ventura, Ca USA 93004. It is a robo call and they threaten to put a lein on your home.

I received a phone call to the dead give away was at the end of the voicemail, claiming I would be arrested, he added "God bless" IRS uses the mail for ALL contact, unless you are actively involved with a case, Audit, etc. Even then, the mail everything.

A useful service...thank you. A question.... Why are so many people trying to line their pockets or pay their way by stealing from frightened or gullible folks? Is it that there's more publicity about thefts of this type, or has this kind of thievery (by scaring people into believing the IRS is about to incarcerate them) a phenomenon more common to present times than earlier periods? Perhaps an ugly off-shoot of the age of technology? Very discouraging!

Can you put a facebook twitter link on this to help get this information out there and stop these people. Tell them to tell the elderly who don't use social media!

Received calls 1/27,1/28,1/29/15 from caller leaving a voice message to call 866-853-9268. Caller said bank accounts would be frozen and an officer would appear at my door in 24 hours to make a collection. Ignored calls.

Received a phone call at 4:40 pm today and caller-id stated it was PAYPHONE calling. It was an automated phone call stating that I need to call this number immediately 202-239-6020 because the IRS is suing me.

I got a calll from 202-239-6488.It showed up a a completely different number on my phone thought. I called it back. They asked for my name and home and cell number. Then i have it amd he hung up. . I called back he answered said i had the wrong number and that I wanted someone else and hung up again. I couldn't get a hold, of him again.

voicemail irs scam to call 806 316-9741 or 804 961-0013 this is 3rd time!

Got one call today from a 559-884-5076. I picked up the phone. Call disconnected. Called back, got a recording stating this account is blocked. Possible SCAMMER! Another Number 706-225-8507. Called that number same thing. They are using fake caller ID #s when I tried to trace the #'s online it is stating a wireless #. These people are clever.

I got a call from 5598845076 and they days I would get a 100 shopping gift card but then asked for a shipping fee of 2$ if your going to give free stuff give me free shipping too. I didn't believe it and hung up immediately

The caller was mayby trying to get your credit card information and/or socil surcurity number.

I received a call from 559-884-5076 today. They did not leave a message. I called them back using *67 and they answered 'Bueno'. Next time they call, I will be sure to mess with them.

When you get illegal sales calls or robocalls, it's best to ignore them. Don't interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person or call back. That just leads to more calls. 

I'm in upstate NY. For the last two days I have bottom numerous bogus phone calls from the so-called IRS. I already know the IRs doesn't call people so I just hang up. The number now coming in is607-235-5546.

I had the same number call me 706-225-8507. They call me several times a day. I ignore them. However, I found this site really useful to know that this is a scam. I really appreciate everybody's input about their experiences.

This is not completely true. The IRS DOES make initial contact via telephone. However, in light of all of these scams, they will probably change this procedure, but they haven't changed it yet.

Nice try Scammer. Source: I have dealt with IRS they never call.

No, the IRS doesn't call. This is false, shame on you. They will contact you by mail numerous times before any adverse action is initiated.

The IRS sends mail first but if your address is bad the first you hear from them may be a call. The IRS will not ask for credit card or payment information though, so that is a dead giveaway of a scam. states: "The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill."

Hi, I received several calls from what sounded like an East Indian voice threatening me with enforcement actions by the U.S. Treasury if I did not call their number!

I got a call this weekend from somebody claiming to be IRS. Wanted me to meet them at bank to transfer money. I said I will call IRS on Monday to confirm. I told them call was bizarre. They said OK and hung up. That was it. I guess they gave up on me.

Call daily between 2pm and 4pm with a recording stating they are the IRS Hotline and that I need to contact them due to time sensitive information that needs to be addressed before they take legal action against me. The numbers first came up blocked, then several came up as a pay phone, the last few times was 240-493-8879. I seen it said IRS on the line this time after leaving a message. I called back asking them to please quit calling me and to take me off their call list. I'm on the do not call list a work for the DOD and have no IRS problems on taxes. The man kept interrupting me asking if I was finished. When I was done I said really, you are the one who keeps calling my phone. He then began cussing me out and I hung up. I called back to ask for a manager and they cussed me out again and hung up. They called me again today about 30 minutes ago. Leaving another message on my phone with the same number. I called back and they just kept hanging up on me. Hopefully they got the message to quit calling, because I can be a pain in the butt to when you are rude to me.

If they still continue to call I wonder if the police can put a line on your phone in the event that they can trace the phone call. then they are done talking to you and they've caught the person making the calls. It's worth asking


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