IRS Telephone Scams on The Rise

90,000 complaints received regarding tax related telephone scams

Over $5 million in reported
taxpayer losses

Thieves are more sophisticated by using fake IRS caller IDs

In a recent announcement, the IRS cautions that the use of impersonating the IRS as a means to steal your identity and your money is on the rise. While this scam is not a new one, the IRS warns us of a growing trend in this form of theft.

IRS Telephone Scams on The Rise


The new practice of thievery

The use of the telephone to imitate an employee of the IRS is becoming more sophisticated.

Bullet warning Spoofing caller ID. New telemarketing scams provide caller ID to make it seem that the IRS is calling you.
Bullet warning Use of threats. These new thieves are using threats to get you to pay them. The threats include loss of your drivers license and even jail time if payment is not made.
Bullet warning Angry tone. Often those masquerading as government employees use anger and intimidation to get your information. While this may play into your perception of the IRS, in reality the IRS does not communicate in this fashion.
Bullet warning Giving information. These new thieves demand pre-paid debit card or credit card information. They may also demand confirmation of other personal information.


What you need to know

The IRS reminds us that initial contact on tax questions occurs through the mail, not via email or telephone. If you receive a call, do not provide any information to the caller. Instead, per the IRS, here is what you should do.

Bullet success If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
Bullet success If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484.
Bullet success If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.