Unfortunately, criminals often use the IRS as a gateway for common phone scams. These scams can differ, but they generally include someone posing as an IRS agent asking for payment. These calls can be scary, especially if you don’t know what to believe.
Here are some signs of a phone scam so you can recognize them and report them to the IRS immediately:
- Generally, the IRS will first try to reach you by mail if you owe money. If you haven’t received any previous notice, the call might be fraudulent.
- The IRS will never ask about personal information over the phone, such as your Social Security Number.
- The IRS will also never request immediate payment using specific payment methods such as prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers.
- The IRS won’t demand that these taxes be paid without giving you the opportunity to ask questions about the amount owed.
- The IRS won’t threaten to immediately bring in law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you receive these scam calls, hang up immediately and report the call to the IRS using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or by calling 800-366-4484.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS
 IRS.gov, March 9, 2020