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LAW Home > Legal Topics > Taxes > Other Federal Tax Questions

Don’t Be Fooled by IRS Imposters


Don’t be a victim of the latest scam by criminals impersonating IRS agents. Scam artists have been posing as IRS agents, saying they have your tax return and need to verify personal information, such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, to process your tax return. Here are some tips to protect yourself:


  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you several bills.
  • Call or e-mail you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or by e-mail.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money or to verify your identity, here’s what you should do:

  1. If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

    • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
    • Contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. You may also call 800-366-4484.
    • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC Complaint Assistant on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  2. If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
    • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Also see Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again (from​