Calls from the IRS — Real or a Scam?
Many taxpayers have received threatening phone calls from scammers impersonating IRS employees. The frequency of the scam phone calls seems to be increasing. The IRS has issued a Fact Sheet that sets out the ways that they do and do not contact taxpayers and what to do if you receive a scam call.
The IRS initiates contacts with taxpayers through the regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. You will always receive a notice in your mailbox as the first contact from the IRS, never a phone call.
The IRS will call taxpayers in special circumstances but not before first attempting to notify taxpayers by mail.
The IRS does not:
- Make initial contact with a taxpayer over the phone
- Demand payment by a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer
- Ask for debit or credit card numbers over the phone
- Demand immediate payment
- Threaten to bring in the police, immigration officers or law enforcement agencies for arrest
- Ask about refunds, filing status or confirm personal information
- Use email, text messages or social media to contact taxpayers
If you have received a phone call demanding any of the above, it is a scam. Hang up and report the it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.
More information can be found in the IRS Fact Sheet FS 2018-12.