Telephone Tax Scam

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a

fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these

five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:


1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.

2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the

amount they say you owe.

3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit


4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested

for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money,

here’s what you should do:

• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040.

The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report

the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at

1.800.366.4484 or at

• If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to and type “scam” in the search box.

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