Tax Scams: Beware of Fake IRS Emails, Phone Calls & Texts
IRS YouTube videos on tax scams
Tax scams that use email, phone calls, texts or contact through social media that seem to come from the IRS are common these days. These scams often use the IRS name and logo or fake websites that look real. Scammers can fake the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
These scammers want you to give them your personal and financial information. The crooks then use this information to steal your identity or your money.
Pretending to be an agency or company in order to get your personal information or to get to your money is called "phishing."
REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Also, the IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Recognizing these signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim. See this IRS web page about how to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.
If you get this type of email:
- Don’t reply to the message.
- Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. The links or attachments may have code that will steal information stored on your computer.
- Don’t give your personal or financial information.
- Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then delete it.
If you get an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:
- Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
- If you think you may owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.
- If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do, call 1-800-366-4484 to report the call.
- You should also report the call to the “FTC Report Fraud website.”
Remember that the IRS will not contact you through social media or text to ask for your personal or financial information.