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Here at the FTC, we think about scams all day long. What are the scammers’ new angles? How can we keep ahead of them? We hear from people about the scams they see, and we turn that into tips people use to spot and avoid scams.

But scammers find FTC staff, just as they find the rest of America. My colleagues and I have even gotten calls on our work phones, offering reduced credit card interest rates, or claiming to be tech support calling about problems with our computers. We also get the calls at home. In fact, someone claiming to work for the IRS called my house just last week:

This has all the signs of an IRS imposter scam. In fact, the IRS won’t call out of the blue to ask for payment, won’t demand a specific form of payment, and won’t leave a message threatening to sue you if you don’t pay right away. Have you gotten a bogus IRS call like this? If you did, report the call to the FTC and to TIGTA – include the phone number it came from, along with any details you have.

1356 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

mojihini
July 11, 2016

In reply to by BILL OHIO

I received a call from a 347-349-8713 telling me I was about to be arrested for tax evasion. They told me they needed me to verify my address that the IRS was sending my letter to and since i have not received it, I should sue the postal department. I also got a lecture about how I should only have a CPA do my taxes and that I owed $8,043 in back taxes. I called my lawyer, was told it was most likely a scam. Then called my local police department and asked if I was in legal trouble, was also told it was scam.
Heather
February 18, 2019

In reply to by mojihini

THIS NUMBER IS A LANDLINE AND IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH A SCAM AT ALL. I JUST CALLED IT. FEB 18, 2019
Tumbleweed
October 30, 2019

In reply to by Heather

I just got a call from this # too. Heard a voice recording saying: “Your SIN has been determined to be fraudulent bla bla bla.” I pressed 1 for Agent and a guy answered. I said: “Why are you calling me!?!” Heard background noise (like a call centre or “office”) and he HUNG UP ON ME!!!! Grrrr!!! So I called the # right back - within the same minute - and it went to a legitimate business. It’s obviously scammers using # re-routing software! So annoying. Just FYI.
scamscam
June 01, 2017

In reply to by BILL OHIO

my call came from Tennessee,731-389-9493 saying that they have issued an arrest warrant and that they are monitoring me..oh well unlucky me..
Lilk
December 14, 2015

In reply to by AZ MIKE

I just received a call from a bainbridge, wa # from a man with a very thick indian accent. He said his mame was officer michael henson (sure it is). He told me theres a warrant out for me arrest for irs fraud. I asked him where he was calling from and he rattled off a wa dc address. He even gave me a case #. WTF?! Even though im sure its a scam, your heart still races when you hear warrant. Im so frustrated that people think they can get away with this. Get a real job people!!!!!
Wise to scam
December 18, 2015

In reply to by Lilk

I just got a call today. The return number is 509-588-7558. First I tried several numbers to the IRS. I couldn't reach a human so I looked up the fraud info on their website and found the form to report the fraud. But before I submitted it I called the number back. It sounded like a call center in guess, India! Ding ding ding! He asked for my name and I said well you called me, then I gave him a psuedoname then I asked for his badge # and he provided IRM52172 he then said who he was looking for and he gave my name pronounced very badly with an unknown address that I have never heard of and I've been at the same address for over a decade. He concluded he had the wrong person and hung up. I am in contact with IRS monthly. If they wanted to sue me they wouldn't call. They would simply serve me like any lawsuit. Don't fall for this scam.
warm in minnesota
December 22, 2015

In reply to by Wise to scam

Got the same call, yesterday and today from 703-349-0490. Threatening messages left. Called back and was told it was the AG's office notifying me of a lawsuit against me by the IRS. Nasty to me on the phone, then I hung up...it did rattle me a little. Thanks for posting!
ladysnoop
January 07, 2016

In reply to by warm in minnesota

I've been receiving VM's stating the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me, and I need to call back ASAP. Number is out of Washington. 253-777-0143. Complete scam.
Realproblems
January 12, 2016

In reply to by ladysnoop

I was called today by PN (206) 204 - 5052. I did not answer the call, instead sent it off to voicemail. I received a voice mail stating it was my final notice, and a lawsuit from the IRS is to be filed. My first reaction was to look here, and see if this happened to others. Would much rather not speak to someone who is attempting to scam me, or talk rude and disrespectful to me. The number was rooted from Washington as well as most of these others!
mjmdbklyn
January 21, 2016

In reply to by Realproblems

I have received 2 nasty voicemails and 4 calls (unanswered) from someone claiming to be so and so from the Dept. of Treasury, saying I owed them money and they are going to call the cops and I should get a lawyer. 2 of the calls showed this number on caller id: 646-657-1577. Called it back, no answer. Another voicemail said to call that number, but the caller ID showed an 800 number for the IRS! These creeps are really bold. I reported the calls to the FTC Fraud line. I'm also looking in to blocking these calls. I'm tempted to call back and give bogus information, but I don't want to encourage them. Clearly a SCAM.
abobadilla8
February 05, 2016

In reply to by Realproblems

I just received the EXACT message from the same number. I've done some research and this seems to be a scam. I actually tried calling back and there is no answer.
Almost got me …
February 12, 2016

In reply to by warm in minnesota

Scared me at first cuz it was a DC number but after he wouldn't answer my questions I started to figure it out. Same thing as everyone else, thick Indian accent, said his name was Jason O'Connor, threatened me with arrest and seizure if I didn't pay $3700. I played along to try and entrap him and he gave me the account info to deposit the money. If anyone is trying to bust these a-holes, the phone number was 202-413-8901 Account number was at Wells Fargo for Randy K Oglesby

FTC Staff
February 12, 2016

In reply to by Almost got me …

The details you have would be useful in a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

J
February 22, 2016

In reply to by Almost got me …

Called me twice in a 2 minutes from (202) 569-5674 Washington, DC February 9, 2016 at 12:03:26 PM

ALBANYDon't us…
July 26, 2018

In reply to by warm in minnesota

GOT A RECORDED FROM (202) 768 - 9290. JULY 26, 2018. CLAIMING IT WAS THE IRS COLLECTING A DEBT. I KNEW IT WAS A SCAM AND HANG UP.
julio r
March 07, 2016

In reply to by Wise to scam

I they tried to get me I called them back till they shut it down [202]810 9202
sandie
March 18, 2016

In reply to by AZ MIKE

I just received the same phone call on my cell phone from 703-649-2911 Triangle, VA. I also spoke to a man with a heavy Indian accent who gave me a case number and said that the IRS has a lawsuit against me and that if I hang up the call wihtout making some type of arrangement, police will come to my door, handcuff me and put me behind bars for 6 months!
G-MAIL 2057
April 16, 2019

In reply to by sandie

Receive the same message or calls from different numbers but they're the same. A call center? Threatened with arrest or owe money to IRS or both,scam.
iam2picke
April 03, 2016

In reply to by AZ MIKE

I got one, too...just this morning.They never called me by name or identified themselves by name except for IRS. They called and left a message saying they were the IRS filing a lawsuit against me. I can't remember the whole number(started as a 213-145.... L.A. area code but 145 is a very strange prefix). The first 2 numbers of the prefix are supposed to represent the initials of a telephone exchange name (I know this because I am old and when I was a kid, my telephone number started out as TE2-.... which was the same as "83"-....), and seeing as how there are no letters for the number "1", that, to me, was already a red flag. I erased it after I tried calling it back. The recording came on and said the number could not be reached as dialed. I googled this and discovered lots of sites with warnings about this. I have never in my life had any reason to be afraid of the IRS plus my husband and I both file together, so why are they not targeting him first? His phone number is completely different from mine. Thanx for talking about this!
CA V 8/31/2016
August 31, 2016

In reply to by AZ MIKE

Well I NEVER answer my phone unless it's one of my contacts! In the last month like 8 times 310 4317430 is on my phone! I called back two times the number says it's not working! Last message was LAST WARNING IRS HAS LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU WOW! Should I worry?
ctressler
August 31, 2016

In reply to by CA V 8/31/2016

The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment. They will always send you postal mail before they call you about taxes. And the IRS will never call you to threaten you. That’s a sign that this is a scam.

If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

You can report these incidents to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484 or online. They investigate IRS impersonators.

 

JY
September 29, 2016

In reply to by AZ MIKE

have just received the same call from a 512 994-3517 saying to call 512-994-3517 I guess the scammers moved to TX
JY
September 29, 2016

In reply to by AZ MIKE

have just received the same call from a 512 994-3517 saying to call 512-994-3517 I guess the scammers moved to TX
MommaBear
March 03, 2017

In reply to by AZ MIKE

+13059284143 has called me 6 times just today. I kept missing the call but would call back and get nothing. They then left me a voicemail stating that they are filing a claim against me and they are suing me for backed taxes. This is NOT true! Glad I found multiple sites stating these are all lies, and glad I didn't answer
Big Joe
January 25, 2016

In reply to by FTC Staff

I've been calling them back all day and harassing them. It's quite fun! I don't recommend it for everyone.
The Original Blond
April 11, 2016

In reply to by Big Joe

I have been doing that too. I received 2 calls today within 5 minutes. I have been calling the number lime crazy. The guy already admitted in so many words that he isn't with the IRS. Here is the number 347-637-6193. Have fun!!! I have had LOTS of fun. Don't be discouraged if the number has been disconnected. It's only disconnected for like an hour.
Enough of It
July 21, 2016

In reply to by Big Joe

That's what everyone should do. Give them back their own medicine. Got 5 calls within half an hours of each one today from 360-362-5986. The robo-message was the same - the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me for back taxes and I need to take action immediately and call the number back. I called back once and same like most of you, the guy had a very thick Indian accent. I told him funny that if I owed the IRS, then why was I getting a refund check last week. I warned him that if he called again, he will be looking out between bars (jail) but I suspect that he might not even be in the US as India is famous for big corporation outsourcing their IT help center there.
Bumps
February 04, 2016

In reply to by FTC Staff

Hello, so my mom has been receiving phone calls from this fake IRS scam. I know they're fake, and wanted to catch them in the act of you will. I recorded the conversation, he claimed he was office Chris Johnson, gave a badge number etc. I think I made the mistake of confirming the number they keep calling, really to see what info they had, and sure enough he is her name and our address. I'm worried what they can do now with that info? Help? I I know names and address are pretty much public but can they do something worse or harass even more? I'm worried I screwed my mom into a worse situation just trying to get evidence: names and let them know I know they're a scam.
shelly 620
March 19, 2015

In reply to by K Zimmerman

We got the same call this morning from that number. I told them to stop calling me, and that I was reporting them. He yelled at me to stop calling him! ha They called back 2 hours later, and i ignored the call.
Carrie07
August 12, 2015

In reply to by K Zimmerman

(360) 780-3803 Forks, WA this number keeps coming in on my phone saying it's the u.s government
jod
August 26, 2015

In reply to by Carrie07

This happen to me yesterday...He scared soo bad..I was shaking would let me off the phone said I would go to jail.same # 360-799-4382.
jpdias
February 05, 2016

In reply to by jod

Was it a person or a recording because a person called me saying the were law enforcement for irs.
Annoyed
August 27, 2015

In reply to by Carrie07

The number they used to call me today was from 540-699-1528. Said it was Steve Martin from the US department of Treasury. Heavy East Indian accent. Threatened me with a lawsuit and that I had better call him back. Filed a complaint. This is the second call like this that I have received in the last 6 months. It's getting old.
ahale
June 30, 2016

In reply to by Annoyed

I had the same guy call me today. Different number though, 323-452-7007. And then an automated message from 339-204-7947. I reported both.
Don'"T"t use y…
January 06, 2016

In reply to by Carrie07

Calls everyday with recorded message saying they are from the IRS & have a lawsuit against us please call us back at the ph# provided. Each day the recorded call gets more Threating w/ more chargers against us. The phone # 1-360-342-2983 is the latest # they change it every time I block it. Been getting calls for 9 days straight! IVE HAD IT !!! HOW DO YOU STOP THEM !!!

hellofromNM
February 02, 2016

In reply to by Don'"T"t use y…

You need to go to the TIGTA website and report phone number
kpeek
August 31, 2015

In reply to by K Zimmerman

Had someone call today and ask for my Attorney! I asked him if he could provide my personal info to me I called him out as a scammer, he proceeded to hear my baby crying and ask if I wanted another kid. I said that is none of your business he said a baby by me mam you have my baby what a SICKO!!!! This is ridiculous!!!!!!!
kernoe
January 14, 2016

In reply to by kpeek

Definitely idiots. I'd love to sit in on a job interview with these people! Can you lie to customers you call? Can you yell at them? Can you cuss at them, continuously using the "f" word? Can you threaten them with there finances, jobs and their children? And can tell them you will do lewd, rude and nasty things to these customers if they don't pay? And that you will be doing this in the name of their government? If you can do all of these things we will hire you! ......Can you imagine having an interview like that? How else can they get these people to talk like this to us? I'll never understand it. And they've gotten me on my cell and land line. My calls were from a Washington State #, but both times said he was calling from Washington DC. Idiots! They scared me, tho, the first time. Then I got pissed. My high pitched whistle is ready and waiting for the next call! I'm gonna blow the s.o.b.'s eardrums out! I'm a Whistle Blower and proud of it! Lol!
chan
June 09, 2016

In reply to by kernoe

I receive a call from a number 2028640118 on 6/8/2016. And a next one on 06/09/2016 from a number 206855 5239 claiming the are irs the man call him self dick jones
ugh
March 16, 2016

In reply to by kpeek

Same thing for me today. This guy threatened to rape me and he was tracking my phone etc. creepy!
Bbking12
October 23, 2015

In reply to by K Zimmerman

They can be traced, it's not a new concept, police have been doing it for a very long time, and I highly doubt with all the advanced technology coming out these days that there isn't a way to find out exactly where the call is being made from. There needs to be more done about these people, and I'm starting to think we have higher ups who are in on this and that is why nothing is getting done about it.
david2hig
December 03, 2015

In reply to by K Zimmerman

Always best not to do anything that way the ftc has an excuse for not doing anything, considering the scame continues today DECEMBER 2
so tried of th…
July 08, 2016

In reply to by K Zimmerman

I had received a few calls this week & about 5 times today. Different numbers same message. IRS I need to pay & I had a lawsuits on me. Called a few time like everyone else Indian person ascent. So rude keep on hanging up on me after I gave them my name & number, and telling them to take me off their call list they just hang up again not saying or explaining anything or even saying sorry. 1-559-520-0116 Riverdale, CA 1-646-589-0194 New York, NY 1-713-597-6905 Houston, TX 1-724-772-6461 Cramberry, PA 1-859-568-8008 Florence, KC. I already reported it to TIGTA IRS scam.
t-ronOHIO
August 09, 2016

In reply to by K Zimmerman

When I get robo calls and then a live telemarketing person, I love to use my loud HIGH pitched whistle when they start to talk. I also got the IRS scam and called the call back number 4-5 times and used my whistle on the person that answered. On about the 5th time the scammers removed my incoming number from their answering system and my call was no longer connected. That ended the Robo calls from the IRS scammers.
emb
August 30, 2016

In reply to by K Zimmerman

I just got a call. Thank god I checked online first before calling. The number I was told to call back was (213) 453-7367. Is there any way I can report them? Or isn't it worth it. For the record, I've been on the DNC list for nearly 20 years.
Jopena49
March 13, 2017

In reply to by K Zimmerman

It's irrataing I yelled at them don't even give them a chance to say anything the number that calls me 13234993461 I already reported them to the attorney general and bbb