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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 received a call on our answering machine last evening stating they were the IRS and that they had tried to contact us repeatedly and that we were being sued by the IRS. I returned the call to see who was on the other end. It was someone with an Indian accent and they hung up as soon as I said obviously you aren't with the IRS and you will be reported. Their number was 509-588-7570. Called ID said Brewster, WA.

Is there anything being done to go after these individuals?

Got a recording on my machine this morning saying the IRS was filing a lawsuit against me. My name was never mentioned and the recording cut off. The number coming across my caller id is new York number 718-377-9189.

I received the same call today. It came from a NY # (607)594-4642. The call back number they left was (202)470-3274. It was a woman's voice on the recording.

have heard about aloy got one too.

Automated voice mail message saying the IRS was going to take action against me. Told me "don't ignore this message" and to call back this number 323-284-5031
Did not call back.

I just received a voice mail threatening arrest for taxes owed. When I called the number back it was a "magic jack" number meaning it could not be traced. 206-497-0185.
BEWARE

Hello we have been try to reach you this call is final notice from irs internal revenue service the reason is that call is to inform that the IRS is filling a lawsuit against you to get more info about case file please call on our dept number immediately at 914-595-6462 Did not return

I got this exact voicemail yesterday. From a 202- Washington DC location. Did not return call.

Got a call from "Agent Nicky" with the phone number (323) 892-0649. Told me to call her back immediately with or have my lawyer contact them. Said they were an IRS agent. Never threatened lawsuit, but might as well have. I know the IRS would never contact you this way, so I obviously didn't believe it.

Received a robocall yesterday and today to my cell phone, two different numbers (206 & 2020 Area code) with two different messages, both male. Both referenced a lawsuit, one indicated my lawyer could call, both were very amateurish, actually made me laugh.

got two calls today within an hour of each other. First one saying they had been trying to reach me and this was final call before a lawsuit. 202-738-1221. Second one said I was being sued for tax fraud . Jerry White 260-464-1123. I did NOT call either! Glad this site is here.

I got one of those calls today, informing me the person was a Treasury agent, that my unpaid taxes from 2012 would have me arrested with a six month sentence. I asked where he was calling from--heavy South Asian accent--he said Washington DC. I told him I'd lived in DC and his humber--718 481 0144--was not a DC number. He told me all calls went to DC and were bounced to Houston (he pronounced it HOW-ston.) 718 is a NYC area code. When I told him my accountant did my taxes annually, and that 2012 had long been paid, he told me my accountant was bilking me and because of that, I would be arrested "by Federal agents, not the IRS. The will come to your door and arrest you." I told him the IRS IS a Federal Agency, that he'd provided no believable information and that I'd be reporting him on a hotline. He said he was insulted and was going to hang up. When I hung up, he was still trying to convince me. Used the name John Connor (wasn't that the Terminator guy?) and said his employee ID was #10053.

I received two identical recorded calls today, I don't have caller id so I don't know the number. A guy with a foreign accent said they tried to contact me "by wire" but were unsuccessful. So they were calling to tell me that there was a lawsuit against me for tax fraud or money laundering. It was filed by the irs, not "your state or territory". It said to call (703)828 0618 (Virginia landline). I didn't call them back. Also two weeks ago a guy with an indian or Pakistani accent called about a tax audit. I hung up, then 5 minutes later a different guy called, but it sounded like the same call center because of the background noise. He said a lawsuit for tax fraud "is being filed this afternoon". I hung up on him too.

Yanno the HORRIBLE Chinese or Korean accent gave away the scam that had all of these elements in it..including the mention of a bench warrant (no bail).

I got 2 phone calls today: 607-735-0885 and 484-288-2001. If I call them back they are not working numbers. They left messages that IRS is filing a lawsuit or making a claim against me. Informing me to call another number immediately. Please be aware!

Just got the call today from
(202) 684-6584

It was obvious this was from a indian call center.

I received a bogus IRS call today caller id 000-000-0000 left a voice mail message directing me to call a numbed as soon as possible i was being sued by the irs ..... Message ignored

Was called saying that they were going to file a lawsuit against us, and that they had tried to contact us several times. I wasn't left a name, just a number to call back. It's ridiculous that someone hasn't caught these frauds. The number that I was to call back was 509-588-????

Just got the depressing sounding voice saying the same thing. But the phone number was: 1-512-961-8514. These calling companies should all be prosecuted and sent to jail.

I got one from NY today - 347-983-2470 - I guess my first bit of luck was I was too busy at the time and let it go to voice mail. At lunch I listened and got upset. Then I kept listening and got suspicious - "Hank McCoy calling" - Hank McCoy with a trace of a SE Asian accent. Stupid. Why didn't he just call himself Singh?

Yes Yes - Big Lawsuit. Schmucks

I live in West Virginia and received a phone call a few minutes ago (12:05pm, 5/18/2015). The call showed up on my phone ID as "Nationwide" and the number was a 304 area code number (WV) but the number they gave to call was a 202 area code (DC). The message was the same saying that I would be arrested by the IRS if I did not call back. Sorry scammers, you're not getting any of my money!

I live in West Virginia and received a phone call a few minutes ago (12:05pm, 5/18/2015). The call showed up on my phone ID as "Nationwide" and the number was a 304 area code number (WV) but the number they gave to call was a 202 area code (DC). The message was the same saying that I would be arrested by the IRS if I did not call back. Sorry scammers, you're not getting any of my money!

May 18, 2015 9:28 AM I received automated phone call that IRS has lawsuit against me. I hang up, it did not sound right.

This site is very helpful to bounce off and validate the scam. The phone call was from 509.588.7570.

Thank you all for posting your comments here, it's been helpful.

I got an automated vm today saying the IRS was filing a lawsuit against me and this was my final notice. 914-595-6462. They left a case number but no return phone number. The automation was terrible, cracked everywhere. I'll take my chances with the fake lawsuit thanks!

I just received a call from this number 202-436-9923.IRS filed a lawsuit. This guy with heavy Indian accent told me that I own 3258 dollars in taxes.I was going to be arrested as soon as I hang up the call.He asked to pay right away.I asked him to send me letter and payment slip from irs and he hang up the call.be careful .scam.

Already did another scam?

RoboCaller left voice message 05/21/15, verbatim: "This is the IRS and the reason we are calling is that we are filing a lawsuit against you. Please call 509-392-6377 for more details about your case. Thank you" Hope this was helpful to somebody.

I recieved an automated call today, Memorial Day 5/25/15, stating that the IRS was suing me and this was my final notice. I thought it was odd to get a call from the IRS on a federal holiday. I did not have time to write down the number I supposed to call them back on. Reading everyone else's comments helped put my mind at ease. Thank you to all responders.

Just received a phone call - robocaller - on May 29th 2015 stating that the IRS was going to sue me and file a lawsuit. I have received nothing in the mail and will not call back. The number was 509-340-4045 ( i believe...the voicemail cracked at the number and it was hard to hear). I reported this to the IRS

Just got one of these robot calls, told me to call 360-356-1223. I called, spoke to some guy in a heavy accent and asked where he was located, he said washington dc. I told him his area code is washington state... When I asked him to spell his name I kid u not he spelled out f--- you to me and hung up. Scumbags.

Received a call today saying that an arrest warrant was being issued in the next 45 min and I was being accused of 3 different criminal allegations. The "IRS" representative gave a name and ID number and a case number when I asked. The phone number was 323-284-5120.

I was so happy to find this page! I just got a call today, 5/29, stating that the IRS has a lawsuit against me. They left some weird 509 number and Itruthfully deleted the message. I was happy to read that I am NOT the only one that this has happened to. I also always thought that you were contacted by mail first. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

Same here, 202-864-1229

Claiming this was our last warning and the IRS was filing a lawsuit against my family. First of all, I was never once contacted by the IRS, we pay our taxes. Second of all, I'm pretty sure a government agency like the IRS doesn't use some random phone number with an area code I've never seen before.

Also, last warning for what? That I am being sued? If it's a last warning doesn't that mean there was still time? These guys can't even set up an automated message correctly.

new number to beware - 253-271-4639

I got a call today from 2028641311, it was a voice recording of a lady stating that the irs has filed a lawsuit against me and if I needed information about the case to call the number back. The. Call was from Washington DC. After doing research I didn't call the number back. I have notice after going through all the posts that someone listed 2026841311 as a number that contacted them about a lawsuit and my number is pretty much the same with the middle numbers reversed

My husband got a call like this today. It was a recording stating that he owed the IRS money, and that if he did not pay, they would be garnishing his paycheck so. I knew it was suspicious because he owed taxes in 2006 and had them paid off in full. I imagine that people's information is being stolen by all these "security breaches" , and then they are calling people at random, hoping they will fall for it. I know for a fact all correspondence with the IRS is through the mail, then you can call them. It is a scam!

I got a call like this today, there was a pre-recorded message that claimed it was the IRS and that there was a lawsuit filed against me... I was worried until I realized one thing: The IRS always tries to contact people by mail, especially being as phone-numbers can be changed easier than addresses can.

I have only filed a 1040ez for the past 10 years as i dont make a lot of money or own a home but today at 12:30 i received a call from 6041207530000116913? I answered it and it was a recording of a woman saying that i was being sued vy the irs and tp get more info to call another number that i was unable to write down. I tried calling that ridiculouly long number back and got a recording from my cell carrier to get an international call card before my call could be completed? I left it at that. As far as i know the irs only contacts a person through mail so i left it at that, but still a lil scary being told that im being sued. Also a question that has been nagging me for a while if anyone can answer, on the back of you ss card it clearly states not to be used as an id so why do companies and even the irs use this to identify us?

I received a call from Unavailable 1 today June 5, 2015. I did not answer as I have had a number of calls from this caller ID before and never answer. This time she left a message that the IRS has filed a lawsuit against me and to call 206 801 5201. Of course I know IRS would never call regarding a lawsuit and instantly knew it was a scam. I will not waste my time calling back.

I got the exact same call yesterday. They told me to call the same number. The voice on the recording sounded kind of convincing at first. I had a hard time sleeping, wondering what the problem could be.
As I got talking about it, it occurred to me that they wouldn't call me out of the blue. And if I had talked to them in person there would be no way for them to positively identify me without me giving my SSN. And there was certainly NO WAY for me to verify their identity. It has scam written all over it.

I just got a call recording from phone #254-616-9081 stating that the IRS had filed a law suit against me and to call that number back to get more information. I did not call, just wanting to give heads up. Watch out for scams.

Just got a robo call today from 3604500205 (they withheld their identity and number comes up as "unavailable"). The message says that this should be considered a final notice ...that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me. If you look this number up on Reverse Phone Lookup, it comes up as a mobile phone number in Vancouver, WA. Lots of people got the same call.

I got one from 844-584-0763, the robocall message they left when I didn't answer said I should contact them immediately at that number, because an IRS agent would be coming by within 24 hours to complete the "paper works" on the lien.
First of all, I just barely started doing taxes because I'm a college student and just barely started working for a job that collects federal taxes (work study doesn't). I didn't THINK I owed anything, but being young and naive I didn't know, so I had no idea it was a scam. I immediately went to call them back, and got a guy who introduced himself as "Hello, IRS." And I said, "Hi, I got a call from this number and need to know what it is about?" And he instantly started going, "Hello? Hello?" And then he said my name and when I said yes, he hung up. I realized right then it was probably a scam, so I got online and found this, and other information, and got really angry. I looked up the REAL IRS number, and called back the scam number. A different guy answered with a really thick accent and a ton of background noise, "Hello, Internal Revenue Service thank you for calling." And I started with "I need to know who you are and how you got my name and information because I know for a fact--" and he hung up. I am really, really angry. Because if I hadn't thought to look it up, I would have believed them about who they were and probably given them my information. I know a ton of other kids here at college who are just as confused about taxes as I am, and might fall for the same scam. I reported it so hopefully this scam center gets shut down.

Thanks for reporting the scam. Law enforcement uses complaint information to track scammers.

You can share this blog post by copying the URL of the blog post and paste it into a Facebook status update. The URL for the post about IRS imposters is https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/another-tax-scam-irs-imposters.    

I, too received a call back in May indicating the IRS had filed a lawsuit against me. I was to call 214-3304, I didn't catch the area code. I never called cause I was sure something wasn't right. IRS would have no reason to contact me. Glad I found this page that others have also been contacted and it obviously is scams!

Got 3 computer generated calls today telling me "There is an IRS suit against us --call immediately 509 588 7318" - course I did not---beware !!! ( as
Me reported above 509 also is in Washington)

My own robo call this morning was a voicemail message I received from an IRS imposter who gave her name as "Officer June Smth of the IRS", with callback number (360) 861-4238. Her message warned me of my future appearance before an unnamed "Magistrate Judge or Grand Jury", etc. etc. From checking the Internet and this website, I now know that this call is a SCAM. The IRS does not initiate phone calls to taxpayers but rather communicates initially by postal mail. Don't waste your time and money calling back to answer these scam calls and/or opt out of their calling list!

Got a phone call today from "IRS Officers" (904)638-5972. Pay $5,961 immediately (with vouchers from Nationwide?!?). After that, three officers will pick up the vouchers. If I don't comply police will arrest me in 30 minutes, then 72-hr jail time and then in front of the judge. Heh, it's good to have a law degree.

Just received a robo-call stating it was the final notice and that the IRS was starting a law suit. I was supposed to call 917-688-4186. It appears to be a cell phone in the Bronx, NY.

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