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Voicemail from an IRS imposter?

 

by Andrew Johnson, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

You get a call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS. You’re being sued and this your final notice, the caller says.

Don’t panic. And don’t return the call. It’s a scam.

Here are a few facts about the IRS to keep in mind if you get a similar call:

If the IRS needs to contact you, they’ll do it by mail first.

The IRS won’t demand personal information like credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone.

The IRS won’t threaten to arrest or sue you, or demand that you pay right away. The IRS also won’t tell you to use a specific form of payment like a money transfer from MoneyGram or Western Union, a cash reload from MoneyPak or Reloadit, or a gift card from iTunes or Amazon. Scammers ask you to use those ways to pay because they’re hard to track or cancel payments.

If you or someone you know receives a call like this, report it the FTC and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Include the caller’s phone number, along with any details you have. If you’re not sure whether a call is really from the IRS, you can double-check by calling the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.

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