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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.

Scam Tags:  IRS Impersonators


I got the "IRS Call" about six months ago. I was pretty sure the IRS did not call, but I was curious so I listened for a bit. As soon as he said "my company", I told him "the IRS is NOT a company". I told him he's a fraud, and I hung up. Afterwards, I wished I had been cooler and just listened to get as much info as possible in order to report him.

Recentl I have received unknown calls from a tech service company. They are using the name of a company I do business. Funny thing that my vendor will not call me but send an email if something is urgent. The fony company wants to gain control of my OC or sell me some software to repair my pc. Oren this company introduces a virus. I've learned to ask them for info they should know about me. The fony companies are clueless. Name of teacher in high school, etc

Ask for callback number.

Why aren't US laws more punitive so that scammers face severe penalties for attempting to dupe the public, and so that FTC could prosecute more fully? Seems that if the penalties and prosecutions were more onerous, that scamming would be less prevalent!!


I received a call from someone who said that they were representing Microsoft Corporation. He said that his name was Alex, and his employee number is 53732. He said that my computer had a virus and that I have to follow his instructions in order to correct the problem. He was instructing me to press certain keys on my keyboard. When I resisted, he attempted to verify that he was legitimate by reciting my full name, address, phone number, and email address. He became very agitated as I continued to resist his instructions by stating that he could be anyone from anywhere, and that I had no intentions of following his instructions. What was really odd is that my computer began acting strange and was running extremely slowly the night prior to this call. I even received a pop-up screen stating that my computer had a virus and that I must press the button on the screen immediately. I ignored this warning, and thought that it was a phishing scam. I do not have the original phone number that was utilized to make the call. But I did tell him that I want the name and phone number of his supervisor so that I could call back and verify his information.

The information he gave me is: His name is Alex from Microsoft. His employee number is 53732. His Supervisor's name is David Johnson. His Supervisor's phone number is 631-661-6674. I am not sure, but I believe that this phone number is the same one that the phone call originated from.

To Microsoft and tell them, give them the number. Acctually they wil prob find a way to get to them faster than anyone hahaha.

I have received phone calls similar to this one as well. Most of them came from cell phones. I did turn in m info with the FTC a couple of months ago by phone call as well as online. I suggest to the public if they have landline home phone number like I do, make sure to set a setting that you will not take calls from blocked numbers. This will make the caller show their name or state and the real phone number they are calling from. Most of the time when I call back it says this phone number is not a working phone number. So I think they are probably using those pre paid cell phones and just get rid of them so we cant trace the people involved in this large scam.

How do I insure that my stolen SS card is not used to create a new fraudulent IRS account, fraudulent W2 forms and filing of fraudulent 10W40?

Received one of these calls today about the IRS. From phone#707-822-9870

I received three of these calls. The most ridiculous thig about is that it comes up on my caller as a pay phone.

Another clue the caller is bogus: "Internal Revenue Services". The agency is Internal Revenue Service.

I got a call similiar to this one but with a different phone number. Recorded message saying "This is Sgt. Sebastian Warren of the IRS. We have an arrest warrant for you for tax evasion"

Elizabeth, I am retired from the IRS and am sorry to say but I had to really laugh at this one, a caller identifying themselves as a Sgt. from the IRS. No, IRS employees do not have ranks. Remember, if a taxpayer has any type of tax return issues, you are always notified by mail with an explanatory notice and a phone number to call. If you are ever concerned about an account, you can call 1-800-829-1040 to check. Of course, you'll have to wait forever because Congress cut the IRS budget to the bone and there are not enough employees to handle the call volume.

maybe they are too busy looking for Lois's lost emails.

And they are still looking!

Hello Elizabeth, I received the same type of phone call with the same verbiage. Whats more suspicious is that I believe the same "person" called months ago with the same name but for something completely different ( fraudulent Health claim). So these guys are just out for anyone that will call them back and exchange words.
Wish there was something that we could do about this with the proper protection and actually get some results.

I submitted an online report of an email scam recently and have not received an email confirming receipt. do I need to resubmit? Thank you.

As you finish filing a complaint at, you should see a reference number that verifies your submission, and some information on what you can do to resolve your issue.  If you provide your email address, you should also get a confirmation email.

IRS is filing a lawsuit - SCAM from 360-262-6451. I called and said I was a CPA. A man said I had not filed my tames and began trying to get me to confirm contact information, However, he could not provide my Social Security number, so I hung up.

I received a call today which showed the D.C. area code, & different things were told to me. The first call, a foreign-accented man said he was calling about my having committed fraud against the IRS for years 2008 through 2012. I said they sounded nothing like the IRS & I told him so. He then said he was calling from China & The U.S. Government had hired them to take care of these things. I said 1st of all that The United States would never hire China to handle our U.S. Affairs. He hung up. I called back the caller ID # asking what they wanted. I was told an Affidavit would arrive in the mail in a few days and that I needed to sign it. I lied and said "OK." I called the number again & yet another foreigner answered, knew my name... and he said I would be arrested within two hours. I just said "OK. I'll look forward to that, laughed & hung up.

I noticed that she had the hiccups. I believe that a real one would cure them before calling.

I just received one of those calls in which they try to threaten me by saying they was sending the feds over to lock me up and now that im sure it was fake ,I hate that I gave my name. Something really needs to be done bout these people and their fraud behavior.

On 3/9/15 at 8:30 am, I received a call from "Aiden" 267-885-2326. He said that he was calling from the Tax Fraud Department of the IRS. I've gotten several calls like this before and have reported them to the FTC. I hung up immediately.

Fake IRS Phone Scam (360) 214-3607 (721)596-6584
I received a call from one of the above numbers and it was a automated-voice stating that it was the IRS and that they had been trying to get in touch with me for a while and that they were filing a lawsuit against me. The voice then said to dial such and such number (I'm pretty sure it was the (360) 214-3607 one) as soon as possible and disconnected. I was outraged and immediately called the number. A man with a very thick Indian accent answered with what sounded like "Internal Revenue Service". His accent made it very hard to understand what he was saying and he would not transfer me to another person not let me speak with his supervisor. He kept repeating that "the IRS had filed a lawsuit against me due to miscalculations on previous income tax returns between the years of 2008-2014" and I owe them approximately $8,000. He also said that they have been mailing notices however they were always returned. He ever said that the most recent one was mailed out on December 10th, 2014.
When I said I've never received anything and asked which address they had on file, he quickly changed the subject. This is total bs because I was still in high school two of those years and did not have a "real" job that dealt with W-2 forms.

Got the same kind of robocall this morning. Did not call them, came to this site at once. They called at 7:15 a.m., waking me after 3 hours sleep.

This number called, dc area code. Robot voice saying he is johnatgan knight from irs....blah blah. scam

Same caller on voice mail fr 2 different nbers. Same story. OfficerJohnathon Knight IRS. obviously same recording. Called from 2 different numbers. 646-688-2279.

I received two calls today from Officer Jonathan Knight from the IRS with threats also. I think I'll go on with my life! I hope this scammer will find one tpo!

I just now got a phone call from Jonathan Knight or Wright. Saying he is with the IRS. These scumbags make me sick.

I received a call from 360-450-0205 (Seattle) almost identical spiel, accent, etc.

very helpful website here -- thnks

Just got a call from the same number. Thought it was a scam. Glad I found this site & your post.

Got a call on my caller id today. Said the IRS was filing a lawsuit against us. We should call for more details. Our caller id said the number came from 630 529 5537 but the number to call back was 209 813 2710

I received a call for 571-210-5961 and they were saying that I was going to go to federal prison if I didn't pay some money. when I asked about the years that I owed I then got really mad because I wasn't in the USA on the years that he was saying that I had fraud on my taxes. he said that I had a warrant out for my arrest and then started yelling at me. I of course started yelling back. I hung up the phone and then called my police department and found out that I don't have a warrant nor have I ever had one before. I was so relieved.

Just remember the irs will never call you!!

For several years, I've been asking that the FTC force the phone companies to lock down caller-ID falsification more tightly. It's designed into the system for good reasons -- so companies with many outgoing lines can have all returned calls come back to their switchboards -- but it should be MUCH harder to access, and it should leave a record that law enforcement could pursue... up to and perhaps including posting itself onto the imitated line's bill in the same way a collect call does (minus fee, of course). With software-mediated switchboards, this *shouldn't* be difficult to add... but the phone companies aren't going to make the changes until they are forced to.

I gave the information to about email sent stating they were the FBI and the person used the name of the director. In my mind if the FBI became that cheesy about making contact with someone, then the ideal I held of them became shattered. I think they were scammers from Africa using a bogus inheritance scam to get people's money. I even allowed the information to be given out and then turned it over to Since I am that confident if someone were that stupid to use my id, they would not be hard to track down, because I have lived below poverty for over 10 years.

I haven't got that call but keep getting calls from someone claiming to be with the US Grants Department saying I was randomly chosen to receive a grant totaling $8,700.00 but I needed to put %500.00 on a MoneyPak card and give him the number. Unfortunately, I paid a few times and did not get the money. When I blocked that number, he called with a california number (the first was Florida) asking why I had blocked his number. They are very sneaky!!

Note the caller said Internal Revenue Service"s". An IRS employee would never use that term. It is always Internal Revenue Service or IRS. IRS employees are required to give their name and badge number. The IRS may make calls but only if they have an active case in which a taxpayer had already contacted the IRS for assistance. A taxpayer who has a balance due will always receive a balance due notice first. The IRS does not cold call anyone. Some of these scammers will state their location as 1111 Constitution Ave. That is IRS National Headquarters. No one is calling from there, unless the Commissioner wants to wish you a happy birthday.

Well, I just got a scam call from Shawn Anderson trying to tell me he was from US treasure Dept-Legal Affairs Dept. And I should call a number. And pay old taxes. When I questioned him and asked him to provide me more info he became very belligerent, and would just talk while was speaking. Even when I told him I was going to call the number he refused to give it to me and told me good luck in court. Ugh. These people are scum.

Sigh. I got the same call today from John Spencer. It was from 7607904134. They told me someone was coming to my home in the next 2 hours to throw me in jail for the next 6 months because I didn't pay my 2010 taxes on time. I haven't had to pay in for over 20 years. I really want to go buy a burner phone and start calling these jerks back! He was so belligerent. Thick Indian accent.

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, don't talk to a live person and don't call back. That just leads to more calls.  These are useful details for a complaint.  Please report your experience at

Got a call from 571-210-5961. Jonathon Wright (heavy foreign accent) call to say that it looks like I have created fraud with the IRS and left a number I could call back (which I did not do). I'm truly getting sick of these kind of calls.

I just got this exact call but he said his name was Jonathan Knight and the number was 202-559-7671

My OFFICER, Jonathan knight with the IRS left message to call 646/291-8846

Just got a call from Jonathan Knight a few minutes ago calling from 281-220-3389.So glad I found this site.

Hi Ds I just got a call from that exact name and that exact phone number, was it a scam for you too?

I just received 2 saying officer John Knight. IRS police officer. One from a Texas number 241.269.3476 and another one with a woman saying the same thing but didn't say anything about being a officer Washington State phone number 360.203.0426

I too got a call from Jonathan Knight a few minutes ago calling from Texas number 469.281.9218.
Saying the IRS was trying to reach me for tax fraud and if I did not call back it would be sited as a dispute over the claim and prosecuted!

I juyst got the same guy saying if I did not call back then it wouuld count against my case. But I don't think they would audit me after the y paid me. Lol


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