Scam Phone Calls Continue - IRS Identifies 5 Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls

09 December 2014

Thousands of people around the nation are receiving IRS phone scams. Callers often claim to be employees of the IRS and threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or a loss of business or driver’s license with a message like “You have an unpaid tax balance!”  

The IRS has issued newsletters and consumer alerts warning taxpayers about recent scams. As identified by the IRS, the most common forms of scams include IRS-impersonation telephone scam, email phishing scam and unsolicited letter or notice via paper mail or fax.  We’ve provided some information below to help you identify signs of a scam.

Here are five things scammers often do, but the IRS will not do:

The IRS will NEVER: 
1)    Call to demand immediate payment.
2)    Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3)    Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4)    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or email.
5)    Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Here is what you should do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication:
1)      If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. 
2)      If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at             1.800.366.4484 or at
3)      If you’ve been targeted by this scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add "IRS                             Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
4)      If you get an email that's purportedly from the IRS, do not open any attachments or click on any links in the email. Send it to

To learn more, you can visit the following websites. Or watch the Youtube video published by the IRS: 

•         Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts