IRS Warns of Telephone and Email Scams

Please remember that the IRS will never initiative contact with you by phone or e-mail. If you receive a suspicious phone call or email, do not provide any personal information and report it to the IRS. Below is some important information that the IRS provides regarding these types of communications:

What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication

 If

 Then

You receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery.
  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. Visit the IRS identity protection page if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
  4. Forward the email as-is to the IRS Phishing Department: phishing@irs.gov. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
  5. Delete the original email.
You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee …
  1. Record the employee’s name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
  2. Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
    • If the person calling you is an IRS employee, call them back.
    • If not, report the incident to TIGTA and to us at phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘IRS Phone Scam’)
You receive a letter, notice or form via paper mail or fax from an individual claiming to be the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee … Go to the IRS home page and search on the letter, notice, or form number. Fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters. You can also find information at Understanding Your Notice or Letteror by searching Forms and Pubs.

  • If it is legitimate, you’ll find instructions on how to respond or complete the form.
  • If you don’t find information on the IRS website or the instructions are different from what you were told to do in the letter, notice or form, call 1-800-829-1040 to determine if it’s legitimate.
  • If it’s not legitimate, report the incident to TIGTA and to the IRS: phishing@irs.gov.
You receive an unsolicited fax, such as Form W8-BEN claiming to be from the IRS, requesting personal information … Please send the IRS the email or scanned fax via email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘FAX’).Visit the FATCA home page and Form W8-BEN for more information.
You receive an unsolicited telephone call or email, involving a stock or share purchase, that involves suspicious IRS or Department of Treasury documents such as “advance fees” or “penalties” …
  1. Complete the appropriate complaint form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Forward email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Stock’).
  3. If you are a victim of monetary or identity theft, you may submit a complaint through the FTC Complaint Assistant.
You discover a website on the Internet that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus … send the URL of the suspicious site to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Suspicious Website’).
You receive a text message or Short Message Service (SMS) message claiming to be from the IRS …
  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious SMS and entered confidential information, visit the IRS identity protection page.
  4. Forward the text as-is, to the IRS at 202-552-1226.Note: Standard text messaging rates apply.
  5. If possible, in a separate text, forward the originating number to 202-552-1226
  6. Delete the original text.