IRS Scams


Unfortunately, there are regularly scams in the United States related to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax filing.
 
The IRS DOES NOT INITIATE contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks, or other financial accounts. Visit https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing for more information. If a taxpayer provides an email address to the IRS, the IRS may send an email with information, but the email will not include links to claim a refund or ask for any secure information such as social security number, date of birth, or bank account information.
 
The IRS DOES NOT ACCEPT GIFT CARDS as payment. If you receive a phone call or email claiming that your tax payment is due in the form of a gift card, you know this is a SCAM.
 
Scam Emails Impersonating the IRS
A common IRS-impersonation scam targets individuals associated with educational institutions, specifically students and staff who have an “.edu” email address. The individual receives a phishing email seemingly from “irs.gov” that displays an impressive, yet fake, IRS logo and uses various subject lines, such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” The email directs the individual to click on a link and submit personal information to claim their tax refund.
 
Individuals who receive an IRS email scam should:  
Scam Phone Calls Impersonating the IRS
Another common IRS-impersonation scam are phone calls from individuals pretending to represent the IRS. The IRS will NEVER:
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.
 
Taxpayers who receive scam phone calls should:
  • Record the number and then hang up the phone immediately.
  • Report the scam call using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
  • Report the scam call to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov. They should add "IRS phone scam" in the notes.
  • Report the number to phishing@irs.gov and be sure to put "IRS Phone Scam" in the subject line.
 
For the latest news on scams to avoid, visit the IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts webpage as well as the Suspicious Emails and Identity Theft webpage.
 
For additional ISS resources related to scam prevention, please visit the following ISS webpages: