Plain and simple the IRS is not going to call you on the phone demanding payment. But, it’s annoying nonetheless.
The IRS says this scam has been in every state of the U.S. and often targets recent immigrants. The scam works like this: The caller threatens you with jail or other consequences unless you wire money.
The Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to ask for personal or financial information. The IRS does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or ask for a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If you get behind on your taxes, first attempt to contact you will be through the U.S. mail.
Other scams that can take place include email or fax, text messages and social media channels. Some fraudulent websites impersonate the IRS where scam artists routinely pose as tax preparers during tax time, luring victims in by promising large Federal tax refunds or refunds people never dreamed they were due in the first place.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming IRS:
- If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.