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It’s the IRS calling…or is it?

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Here at the FTC, we think about scams all day long. What are the scammers’ new angles? How can we keep ahead of them? We hear from people about the scams they see, and we turn that into tips people use to spot and avoid scams.

But scammers find FTC staff, just as they find the rest of America. My colleagues and I have even gotten calls on our work phones, offering reduced credit card interest rates, or claiming to be tech support calling about problems with our computers. We also get the calls at home. In fact, someone claiming to work for the IRS called my house just last week:

 

This has all the signs of an IRS imposter scam. In fact, the IRS won’t call out of the blue to ask for payment, won’t demand a specific form of payment, and won’t leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away. Have you gotten a bogus IRS call like this? If you did, report the call to the FTC and to TIGTA – include the phone number it came from, along with any details you have.

Comments

I just received this exact phone call

We received the same type of call a few months ago (twice in two days) that wanted us to call back. I called my accountant (who said the IRS mails a letter and does not calland that several people had gotten calls; it was a scam) and also called the police and reported them. This month we again received two (twice in two days). I hung up on the second call and am reporting them here. The number the female voice wanted me to call was: 206-900-9172, which I ignored but gave to the police.

I have been getting this one, same number, for the last couple of days. The last call was at 4:30 a.m. this morning !!...scared my son terribly. Don't pay any attention to these scam calls.

It's all good! I have received a number of calls from a rang of numbers, I'm sure you found out by now that this is a scam. They will say they are the IRS, say they are calling to lower interest rates on your CC and many other things. Google the numbers and see what you come up with, or call them them back and see what they say, most times if you question them they get mad and hang up, or start calling you names "THEY ARE ALL SCAMS Most of them like the IRS would not call like that, they would first send a notice in the mail telling you to call them! Be careful and d"DO NOT" fall for any of these scammers, very easy to check out. Don't worry, have a good one. MM form AZ

I've received the same messages-- exactly the same. 509 phone #s out of Brewster, WA. IT IS A SCAM ATTEMPT. Nothing else. Do NOT call them back-- ignore it & report it to the FTC.

I received the same type of call. The mechanical voice of IRS Officer Nikki Johnson, but instead of the 818 area code number it was 409-809-3448. I have received other calls similar to this, but not from the IRS, so when I finally returned the call and spoke with someone, a male, I knew immediately that it was a scam.

I just had this same exact call! I was scared but then I started thinking the automated sounded extremely weird none like any other automated call I've ever received before and I actually corresponded with the IRS this year so I felt like this was a scam because the IRS will send you a letter if anything. Then I googled "IRS Hotline" and typed the number that we both received calls on and scams popped up.

got a call from this phone number which is 70 649 49079. caller claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service I said I wasn't the person that they were calling and they hung up on me did a reverse phone lookup the number actually says IRS office in Columbus Georgia and when you call back a recording says they're the IRS is sounds legitimate but here's the kicker I don't pay taxes I don't make enough every year so I'm telling you this is a scam again the phone number there calling from is 706 4949 709 call if you get a recording it sounds legitimate but it isn't I'm sure of it

I just got a call from the same phone never you just posted. Thank you so much for leaving a feedback. I swear, he always gave me a heart aytack with accusations of owing them 2800. Luckily enough, my sister told me to hang up. Appreciate the advice.

Just got one today - 347-9894958
Lady had an Indian accent. I just don't know what can they do with my work cell phone number, my address zip code and my name. Any ideas?
I called back and after a long time somebody actually answered. Another different accent. They promised to call me back in 2 minutes.

After perusing the comments, looks like these scammers are using a variety of phone numbers. I have caller ID and do not answer the phone unless I recognize the number, letting my answering machine take over for messages if they leave one. Got a call yesterday with a Washington, D.C. number (202-684-6848) and one today with a California number (209-348-9316). I did a reverse number search and the Washington, D.C. call looked like it was from an official building (the reserve number check gives one a google map of the location of the number, as well as other pertinent information--of which there was none; did the CA number and some place in Lockeford--a small nondescript town). Knowing that if such a law suit was the case from the IRS, they would likely mail out a warrant, rather than some threatening call over the phone.

Calls received on 7/02/15, 7/06/15 from 209-348-9316 Lockford CA, Calls received 07/10/15 and 07/11/15 from ( I suspect abbreviated by my caller ID)BLVDR/TIBRNCA 415-619-6142. The latter states "her" (although easily discernible as a automated voice) name as Agent Nikki Johnson, as I have noticed elsewhere. In my case "she" ends the call by saying "goodbye and take care" awwwee.. plucked my heartstrings that someone out to get me is so concerned for my well being.

How do they manages to continue to get operational phone numbers in such a multitude and not be found?

Received automated call informing me the IRS has a lawsuit against me, for more info call 347-321-4747
I do know the IRS always uses the postal system to notify taxpayers of anything. Plus you would have some long going dialogue with the IRS long before any legal action would take place. I have been there before so I know. Plus that call was on my cell phone!!! Yikes!

They are using a new number . 509 588-7382. beware

just want to add a new # 509-560-4203. got it only twice today. they must be getting tired.

BEWARE.... JUST GOT EMAIL I EMAILED BACK AND TOLD THEM TO CALL ME. THIS THE # 509 588 7382 BENTON CITY,WA # 12/2017

Next time they call me I am going to have A whistle and let them talk a little and when They think they have a fool on the line I am Going to blow the whistle in their ear. Then They will stop calling and if we all do that They may give up . If not oh well sorry they are Deaf .

The message I received was almost identical to the sound clip above with the exception that the # was (360) 780-3756. They warned me not to discuss this with any 3rd party given that it's an open federal case. (does this count?)

Same thing here but (360) 208-0905
out of South Bend, WA

Just received two calls from 509-790-0592 same message as everyone has indicated in the comments. Thanks for the posts!

509-295-6815 called : IRS is filing a lawsuit against me

I just got a message with a 509-778-4660 number. The woman identified herself as Mrs. Jones (ID 313907) who said there was a lawsuit pending unless I resolved immediately. She transferred me to the Audits department where a Mr. Brian Thomas (IRC-94290TB) said he had to review my case and call me back. Obviously a scam!!! He called back from the same number. Didn't answer!! BEWARE!

Got an "IRS" call from Officer Melvin Decker, Badge #958126. Called him back because I couldn't really understand the message. Claimed to have attempted delivery in person of the IRS claim against me -- and gave dates. The real tip-off for me was that he was rude and threatening. He never actually asked for payment -- just told me he would see me in court. A Google search of his name brought up this blog. I doubt it is easy to catch these guys and even a phone trail would be difficult. Phone number was 202.407.9732. If you do a reverse lookup, there are a number of comments regarding this scam.

I called back guy said it was kfc. I had some fun with him

My call was from 206_973_7546 , I did not see that number listed here yet. Caller ID said Seattle. The usual recorded message about IRS filing a lawsuit and call them back right away. And this on a Saturday morning.

We keep getting phone calls multiple times a day, usually from phone number (206)973-7546. Please help us make it stop!

Have recieved 6 calls all from different numbers in one day. The first call I laughed and knew it was a scam but every time I block one number, they call on a different one....not funny anymore.

I just got a call from 347-571-9995 pretending to be irs, she gave me a fake name and a batch number. She had a heavy Jamaican accent and told me that I own the irs 5k for the past three years, then she threatened me that she will send the authorities at my house to get arrested if I didn't listen or pay. I have never received any mail from the irs that I own money and they do not call people from random numbers, ask for money or threaten to arrest them without first giving you a chance to appeal it.

I have also received several of these fake calls, I got one from Steve Martin with an Indian accent from this number (540) 699 1528. I do not remember the other number that was used. It was an automated/robocall.

Very good question. Dang, if all the government agencies can't round up & prosecute these "scummers", you gotta wonder about how effective Homeland Security is. Scary.

To right! 202-657-4275, Officer .....wait for it....Shirley Cruz called and tried to say I owed $3786 and would go to jail if I didn't pay it. This is a cell phone number! And the IRS does NOT answer the phone, " Hello, IRS..." Really? I had to jump thru hoop after hoop, push this number, that number just to get to a live person at the IRS! I wish the news would cover this crap and make an example when they are apprehended.

Well I have read most of the messages. I received an automated message from the IRS. Then number they are using is based out of New York, I called the number. The # 347-809-3504, i know the IRS is in Austin, Texas. This is my first one.

I received the recorded message today but their new phone number must be 205-900-9315.

Just got the call this morning with the same message but the number was 5093315213 got names like Jack lewis and mr. Robinson, we played along until they figure out we were onto them. Wanted me to withdraw 4,900 cash while i was on the phone with him and then he will be giving me instructions where to wire the money. how do i report it??

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Latest on oct 27th 2015 from Kansas. 620-904-9671

I was caught by an IRS imposter scam (these folks are incredibly sophisticated, and I was off my game) and, because I was expecting another call from them the morning after it happened, I did call local law enforcement (as well as TIGTA and the FTC, both of which took a few days to return my calls). Local police said it's a federal matter and would not set up a trace for when the call came in, even though a police officer was at my home taking my report when the expected call came through. And when I did hear from FTC and TIGTA, I learned that they are barely able to investigate these scams because most of the activity is coming from overseas, treaties aren't in place, etc., etc. If we cannot enforce the law, it seems to me that widespread education and prevention are keys to protecting law-abiding US citizens from becoming prey to these scammers. The IRS should make the FIRST piece of information on its website and its taxpayer assistance telephone number be: "BEWARE OF SCAMS AND IRS IMPOSTERS! The IRS will not:
Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying."

This information is already on the website, but only if you are looking for information about scams, not if you are just confirming that the phone call you have received is that of the IRS taxpayer assistance line.

Got a call today from Brain Spencer 843 494 4165 said I was going to be arrested by federal agents in 45 mins, for taxed owed from 2010, then his supervisor Anthony Cooper said I could pay the outstanding amount if I kept him on the phone all all times, drove to my bank and then he would tell me what to do. He was very abusive, told me my phones were being tapped and I would go to prison for 3 years if I told anyone about the call, quoting there relevant law and code.
When I said I would prefer to go to the local police station he said that I was going to be arrested in 30 mins, I hung up, I then got a further call from someone saying they were the local police and that an arrest warrant had been issued for me. I have not had anyone come to the house, I reported this to the police, but it has left me in a bad way, they had may name, address and home number but nothing else.

I got one today too saying I was going to be arrested. 1-209-890-8430.

On Nov 19, 2015, I received voice mail from 1-832-858-0144 stating IRS was suing me and that I should call that number back. My caller ID even associated a name with the phone number. I ignored the voice mail; I know IRS and Cal FTB does not call regarding these issues.

I got a call yesterday from 509-560-4207 saying they were the U.S.IRS and they were going to file a lawsuit against me. When I called back a man with a very heavy accent answered and wanted my DOB, SS # and banking info. When I asked him if he thought I was stupid he said he was going to send me to jail. I said go ahead, this is a scam and he told me to go F__K myself and hung up. I kept hitting re-dial on my phone and called them back 40 times. Each time they would swear at me then hang up until the last time I called when the guy that answered recognized my # and asked ME to stop calling them because they were just trying to do their jobs and I was taking up to much of their time. I ended up talking with him for 20 min and he ended up telling me he was in Pakistan. He said due to extremely poor living conditions, no real jobs and needing $ for his family that it was his job to scam stupid Americans out of $. If I can call this # back and get thru, why cant our government shut it down. Yes, I did report it on IRS.GOV. P.S, while typing this I got another call from 360-639-4095 for the same SCAM.

Because the government is useless? Too busy cracking down on folks who won't perform gay marriages.

Got call this morning 360 780 3796 an AG Carter badge # 007001 saying he was irs went through what most of the others here have hung up call the real IRS and reported them not more than an hour later they had nerve enough to call back never answered . Ps they called my cell which I know the IRS does not have.

I received a voice mail almost exactly like the one in the example. The phone number they used was 312-985-5368. It really scared me at first, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the IRS wouldn't use an automated voice mail to contact me.

A number 202-378-7654
They're going to sue me the IRS!

Just received a phone call from a phone number with a San Antonio, TX area code (210-807-4088). The lady sounded like she had a British accent. She told me the IRS filed a lawsuit against me and to write down some information, I was baffled because I have always been good on my taxes, oftentimes overpaying instead of owing, so I demanded answers from her which she couldn't address. I asked for her name and information, and she simply hung up on me. Later, the same number called again and I had already filed a complaint with TIGTA.

If you get a bogus IRS call, report the call to the FTC and to TIGTA (the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration). Include the phone number it came from and any details you have.

I just got this number saying I was being sued by IRS.
614-508-6091

kept them on the phone for 1 hour 7 minutes. can anyone beat that :D

I just received this call from +1(786)503-2063. It was a Florida number.

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