Warning: Phony “IRS” Phone Scams

We’re hearing from a number of clients that they are receiving phone calls from the “IRS”. Usually it sounds as if they are calling from a call center and the speaker’s English is heavily accented. They are aggressive and attempt to scare you with a statement of impending doom or utmost urgency – “the sheriff is coming to arrest you”, “we’re putting a lien on your accounts”, etc.

Take a breath – the IRS always sends notices by mail, not phone calls.

So what should you do if you receive a call:

  1. Ask for their Badge number and the IRS unit they are calling from (they will hang up).
  2. Tell them your accountant will be calling
  3. Hang up and call us if you have any concerns that it is a real call
  4. Go to the IRS website regarding phone scams

The IRS has this advice on their website - “Remember - The IRS will always send Taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to and type "scam" in the search box.”

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.

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