Another tax scam: IRS imposters

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

this news letter is very helpful. I actually gotten two "fake IRS" calls in the last two months.

yes this was helpful, I received a message the IRS was filing a lawsuit against me. So I called the number back 206-201-2044. Yes they say they are the IRS and give a name and badge number. They tried to collect money, saying if I didn't pay, they were going to send me to jail.. then they were going to transfer me to their manager, that is when I hung up.. and looked online..

I just received the same call with the same number.....I won't return the call.

Received call threatening lawsuit from 281-303-0000.panicked for a minute and then started doing some online research as it just seemed odd that the first call I got was saying they were filing a lawsuit having heard nothing prior to this.

I just got a call today, 202-738-4504 same thing, threatening to file a lawsuit

I got the same call today from 202-459-1993, my caller ID said it was Castro DeSalgu, the robo call said this is the irs and we are filing a lawsuit against you, you need to call this number immediately. Of course I didn't call them but I wonder if I did if I could get more info to help catch these scumbags. I get a lot of robot calls and I'm on the do not call list but it does get old, wish there was something we could do about it. I also have had this non-published number for 30 years, so I know they are robot calls.ugh!

I just got a call today and told me that I was being sued. 703-584-5172 is the number they called me on and then called me back. they said I didn't sign for a letter when they sent it, 'I didn't get a letter'. they said a agent came to my door but no one answered so they left a note 'no note received'. I told them to have the irs in phoenix or the local sheriff deliver the papers. they hung up on me.

I received a call today 2 times from a 305-363-3437 telling me I will be locked up if I don't get in touch with them asap because I owe taxes they knew my name and address saying I haven't paid taxes sense 2008.

I just got called from 3123400862 saying something simular. I'm glad I did resurch first. I reported it to treasury.gov

Got calls today from 703-584-4542 Virginia no. Robot call said they found I committed fraud on my return to call that no. Back. Did to see what they said. Answered this is officer ??? with Indian accent. Told them I was calling IRS to report them. Click. They hung up? Tried to call me again later. Persistent little boomers.

Just got a call from 202 793 6694. I got the same IRS message that I had committed fraud on my tax returns. I owed the IRS $5387. The foreign person on the other end of the phone told me they had been sending letters to me and my employer since 2010. I told them, while laughing that I had been retired since 2005. I hung up and called my accountant. S he told me it was nothing more than a scam. And believe or not, about an hour later the same guy called back again. Maybe I'll call him back tomorrow and have some fun with him.

Had a missed call from 302-480-3610 out of Delaware. They left a prerecorded message saying the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me. I called the number back and was hung up on twice, first time nothing was said. Second time a lady with an Indian accent answered but hung up before I could say anything. The third time, the same lady answered the call - sounded like a call center in the background. I asked her to explain the situation. She said she'll need my phone number and address to get started. I asked where she was calling from and how I can verify it. She hung up on me. They called back again about an hour later but left no voicemail. Annoying.

this making me mad they called me twice with tbis i am getting mad and about to change my number

I called them back for that same reason. The number that popped up on my caller ID was 1-000-000-0000 haha. They left a number 843-333-1739, saying I was being sued by the IRS (haha) First time i turned my caller ID off and it wont go through. So i called from a diferent number and the ask for your DOB and last 4 of your social to verify. I told him if your the IRS you have that info so I wont give it to you and he hung up on me. Really crappy they can get away woth answering saying they are the IRS

I just received a call today from 978-626-7161 out of Massachusetts saying the IRS was filing a lawsuit against me. I didn't answer but it Scared me for a sec but I'm glad I did some research before anything!

I received the same call with the same number. They left a threatening message. I called my accountant and he said it was a scam.

I've been getting thousand of emails and I'm not sure what ones are real and what ones are fake some one please help me

Some of those emails could be phishing emails - that's when someone tries to trick you into giving out personal or financial information.

Don't reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links in the messages, even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. A legitimate business won't ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.

If you need to check on your accounts or need to reach an business, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card. Or, open your web browser, find the website, and contact the company.

They will not send you an e-mail they will send letters by by mail. Just a scam your'e fine...

I received a voicemail from a Asian women she said this is so & so and the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me for unpaid taxes.She said I owe 4,000 dollars&that I needed to pay 500 to 800 that day last Friday the 13th.I said what do you want my debit card she said no that she would tell the court I wanted to work out a pay plan & then asked me for 1,200&i told her I could not do that then that is when she said 500 or 800 & told me call her back well I'm in panic mode I called back &could hear other ppl like a call center I told her I would need to ask someone in my family for the $$ well she messaged me from a number I could not message bk &said I'm waiting? Just like that -it ended by me saying I could not pay till Dec &she said she would tell the court I did not want to drag it out in court & would make payments so okay I am left just freaking out.She also said I could do a person 2 person Money Gram & asked me if I knew where a walmart was.Now I have a sounds like white lady calling abt the taxes &I'm scared to listen on my voicemail because I'm major post tramatize stress syndrom &take med for this.I heard this while trying to let someone listen to the first message on my voicemail saying they are putting a law suit on me.I turned it off & blocked everything out the other lady said.I am. dry scared.I am not use to anything like this.Please tell me is it a scam?They also said they sent 2 yellow slips to my old address. I don't live there & my post lady know that & never got anything.

This sounds like a scam. If the IRS needs to contact you, they will send you a letter. The IRS won't call and demand that you send them money. 

Scammers tell lies to try and scare you and make you send money. If someone calls and says they're from the IRS, don't send money, and don't tell them your debit card or bank account numbers. You don't have to answer the calls.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give help law enforcement with investigations.

Received 3 diff 502 prefix IRS calls wanting to sue me+then ask my name.? They call me+then ask who I am? What a scam! Please-no one fall for these idiots! Laugh+hang up

Just got the same message on my cell, tye number was 202 304 3234

I got the same call just today. I guess they did not realize they were calling an Enrolled Agent.

What is an enrolled agent? Sorry to ask

206 area code is in Washington state heh.

I have received over half a dozen calls from an automated call threatening lawsuit from 206-462-5330 stating out of WA. then I blocked it and I got the same call from a number a DC number 202-738-1854

Yup, the that is calling my husband's cell phone 806-395-2809,from Texas with a similar message. Thank you all so much for posting, we were concerned at first but then, we realized The IRS wouln't sebd such a vague message....Thanks again

My husbands been getting them for 8 days. First from egypt number, then from india, now from new york. Leave a message stating nothing more than "the irs is filing a lawsuit against you" numbers are 917-675-3402 and 917-310-1037. Will be turning the numbers in tomorrow morning.

by me they said "the irs is filing a lawsuit against you" call us at (773) 382-8700

I received a call stating that I had a warant out frim the IRS and I was being sued for tax fraud. The guy was Indian and called from 12022395947 he asked if I wanted to make a payment to stop further action. I panicked until I done research on this scam. They threaten me with jail time and all.

Just had a threatening message from the same area code, total scam! The IRS doesn't contact you by phone and use threats, congrats to everyone who has posted their stories. It helps others out that might not know better.

Got the same message on my phone voice recrecording with strange number i had to call back:02610694. Went immediately online, find out IRS is not contacting you by phone and all your postings. Thanks to All!

Thank you so much cause it said that they have been trying to get a hold of me and all this stuff but i never got a call befor!

I was worried today when I too got the "lawsuit" message. But I wanted to get THIS number out there... 509-587-3613 from WA. I called and no answer for um-teen rings until a British woman recording says to leave a message. Trust me I've had to call the IRS before and had to wait over an hour after automated prompts for an agent. But it helps to read here that the IRS would contact me by mail first. Thank you all for your information.

i got the same call from WA state and was told the IRS was filing a lawsuit against us - and given the same number to call back. i was worried at first but glad i checked online to see that it was a scam.

We received the same message with this phone number 509-789-2304. Problem is when i called back no one answered but left a message. Then I though to check this out. thank you for assuring this is a scam.

Started at 9:30 AM this morning and three more times after that throughout the day. 509-492-5167 from Pasco, WA is what the number ends up routing from but when I watch the call instead of redbuttoning it it says it's from Haiti. I filed an FTC report after the first voicemail and have become paranoid I filed a scam report because of how many phone calls I have received from that number today. This forum calmed my nerves a bit though so that's comforting.

Received a call from (509) 233-4064
Loon Lake, WA saying the IRS was filing a lawsuit. I knew immediately it was a scam. Researched for 2 seconds before coming to this site. It is niceHow do they get our information?

Just got the robocall threatening lawsuit. It was from the 206 area code. Reported the incident to www.tigta.gov after a quick internet search made me aware of these scams. The IRS will first contact you by mail. So don't fall for this, but do take down info and report it!

I just got the same automated phone call but I was not able to write down the number. I tried to call different IRS numbers but of course, I cant get a hold of anyone. Ugh, this is so frustrating. I don't understand why people do these things. I may try to contact the IRS again just to make sure. I have not received a letter from the IRS stating that I conducted some fraudulent activities.

I got a call from (509) 588-7563. The automated message said that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me, that they have been trying to contact me and that I should call them back at the number provided. SCAM!

I got an automated voice message on 7/16/2015 saying I was the IRS was filing a lawsuit against. They gave a return phone number of 509-588-7386.
Thanks much to all the posters here!
What a mess ... and so sad.

I just got a call from them at: 509-588-7386. They said that they were going to arrest me if I did not pay up. Said I owed 4,000.00 some odd dollars. They told me not to hang up from the call that the officers were on the way in about 2 hours and that they didn't know if that would be enough time to keep them off of me. I asked for the addresses they sent these alleged letters to? They replied to where you are currently living. I wasted time at work on this today.

I got a call from the same number 509-588-7386 on July 25, 2015. The name of the business was given as General Revenue Service very quickly at the beginning of the message probably intended to sound like the Internal Revenue Service. I was told that I was being sued by the IRS and needed to call the number given.
Thanks for all of the postings and hope everyone is reporting these miscreants to the IRS. May the fleas of a thousand camels plague them!

I got basically the same automated message on my office phone from # (202) 621-0546. Just wanted to throw it out here because I haven't seen the number posted on any forums, etc. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the number it said to call back. Oh well. Done wasting time on it.

We received a similar call today regarding the IRS having a lawsuit against us - the number they left was 202-793-8678. I tried to call back, but after ringing for a while the call was disconnected. Thank you to all who posted here, so we can better understand and be aware of scammers' tactics. Stay savvy and stay safe!

Just listened to a voice-mail I received at home - from 202-864-1311, I actually called that number to see what would happen and told them I'd report them - they hung up pretty quickly :-) They then left another voice-mail a few hours later - with today's technology wish there was a way to stop these scammers

They called me from 202-864-1702 and a woman with a foreign accent said the same thing. When she transferred me to her manager and I asked him to spell his name he said we had a bad connection and he would call back. He didn't call back

Just got a message on my home phone from the same number but today Feb. 19, 2016, at 6:30 a.m. from "Seattle IRS" they said. (206) 201-2044 and reported it through email to the IRS.gov Thanks for posting!

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