IRS Phone Scam Warning

The IRS has issued a warning about a pervasive phone scam. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) called it the largest scam of its kind. It has received reports of over 20,000 contacts related to this scam, and thousands of victims have paid over $1 million to fraudsters claiming to be from the IRS.

In this scam, the thief poses as an IRS agent and makes an unsolicited call to the target. The caller tells the victim that he or she owes taxes to the IRS. The caller demands that the victim pay the money immediately with a preloaded debit card or wire transfer. The caller often threatens the victim with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Thieves who run this scam often:

You should know that the IRS usually first contacts people by mail, not by phone, about unpaid taxes. Most importantly, an IRS agent will never ask for:

If you get a call from someone who claims to be with the IRS asking you to pay back taxes, hang up.

If you owe or think you might owe federal taxes, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or call us for help. If you don't owe taxes, call and report the incident to the TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.

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