Who’s the target?
This scam targets a variety of age groups.
What’s the scammer's goal?
To obtain your money and other personal information by impersonating an IRS agent collecting payment.
How do they do it?
Tax scams take many forms, but they all start with someone calling you or contacting you through email, text message, or mail claiming to be from the IRS. Some scammers will tell you that you owe additional taxes, and if you don’t pay right now or send immediate payment, you’ll be arrested. They may claim that a form you filed for your taxes was missing information and ask you to give them the details directly. Scammers have been known to tell you your identity has been stolen and you need to pay to fix it. The common signs of these scams are that the scammer demands urgency, requests payment immediately, and threatens consequences for not complying. Every scammer’s goal is to gain your trust in order to gain access to your personal information, and your wallet and tax season provides them another opportunity to do so.
- They’re requesting your personal information over the phone
- They’re telling you that you need to pay immediately
- They say if you don’t pay, they will send law enforcement to arrest you
How can we stay safe?
- Remember that the IRS doesn’t make phone calls to demand tax payments, they will most often communicate by mail
- Keep in mind that the IRS will never threaten to immediately bring law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying
- Know that the IRS will never specify payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer, or ask for card numbers over the phone
If you think you have been scammed:
- Contact all your financial institutions as soon as possible
- Report the tax scam at tigta.gov
- Contact FTC.gov
- Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline (if applicable)
- Contact the DMV (if applicable)