The IRS is warning about aggressive IRS-impersonation telephone scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never:
1. Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill
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 card
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.
For more details on this ongoing scam, see:
- IR-2014-105, Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Unveils New Video to Warn Taxpayers
- Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-18, Five Easy Ways to Spot a Scam Phone Call
- IR-2014-84, Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
- IR-2014-81, IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams
- Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-17, IRS Updates Phone Scams Warning
- IR-2014-53, IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam
- Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-10, IRS Renews Phone Scam Warning
- IR-2013-84, IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam
Email Phishing Scam: "Update your IRS e-file"
The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between "IRS" and "gov"), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at email@example.com. For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page.
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.