With tax season approaching, we are seeing more reports of scammers posing as the IRS – by phone, by e-mail and by text message.
The IRS doesn’t use text messages, e-mail or phone to discuss personal tax issues, bills or refunds! The agency only uses IRS Secure Access. If the IRS needs personal info, they will initiate most contact through regular US Postal Service hand-delivered “snail mail.”
Never click on links or open attachments that are unsolicited text messages from any local, state or federal tax agency.
If, however, you do receive unsolicited email or text that looks like it’s from the IRS or a program linked to the IRS, it’s fraud and you should report it. Send a screenshot of a text, or a copy of the email as an attachment to email@example.com. You can go to https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing for more information
Phone scammers often leave a message that says the taxpayer will be arrested if they don’t call back. These clever thieves can also make it appear that they’re calling from the IRS office or other local law enforcement office, or anywhere in the U.S.
If you get one of these calls, never, ever give out personal or financial info via the phone and hang up immediately.
Important facts to know about the IRS. The agency will never:
• ask for a payment via the phone and does not use prepaid debit cards, gift cards or wire transfers for tax payments
• bring in local law enforcement to arrest a taxpayer
• demand payment without giving taxpayers the chance to question or appeal, and
• request credit or debit card info via the phone.
If you do owe the IRS, you will get a bill in the mail requesting payment be made by check to “U.S. Treasury” and no one else. The IRS doesn’t use third parties.