Beware of IRS and Treasury Department Scammers

by Chris Schneider
Hands holding a cellphone

Lynda Doland, CPA warns of fraudsters looking to steal your identity:



Imposters will often call people claiming to be from the IRS in an effort to obtain private information. Beware of any phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or U.S. Treasury Department. These scammers will often demand that you send them money or payments for back-taxes or current owed taxes via prepaid debit cards, wire transfers or checks.

The IRS or U.S. Treasury Department will not contact people by phone when inquiring about legitimate unpaid taxes, ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, nor ask for a credit card number over the phone.

  • Keep an eye out for these tell-tale giveaways that you’re being scammed:
  • An automated robocall machine
  • Use of the last four digits of the your Social Security Number
  • Fake IRS e-mails to support their scam
  • Calls a second or third time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles

Note that when these scammers call, the caller ID can still appear as “IRS” and they may give you their name and badge number to sound official.

If you’ve been targeted by a scam, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission and use its “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add the words “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

You may also contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) or even the IRS directly if you receive a suspicious call.

If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, do not open any attachments and do not click on any links within the e-mail. Instead, forward the message to


The IRS will never initiate contact with a taxpayer by email or telephone. If you have any doubts about the security or validity of an interaction with someone claiming to be from the IRS, contact the Federal Trade Commission, IRS, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or even your local police via a non-emergency phone number.

Consult your Corrigan Krause tax advisor for additional information on scams related to the IRS.