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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.

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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.

a frausted person
August 12, 2015

In reply to by Deepa

I also had call now about it from IRS, he said dont hang up call or 911 arrrest you.
ladymagic
March 21, 2015
I had a call that used my own name and phone number to show on caller I D. They were saying I could win a trip to Florida....I hung up but have questions as to how they can use my own name and phone number(land line)to show as the origin of the call.
ladymagic
March 21, 2015
Thank you.
m
March 23, 2015
I too received this message on my answering machine indicating that I had committed IRS fraud, that the attorney general from my state had already been notified and if I or my attorney did not call within 73 hours a law enforcement officer would soon be at my door. The same lady called back the following day and left the same message. I responded back immediately because I am an upstanding citizen and wanted this matter rectified as soon as possible. Nina as she referred to herself sounding very hateful repeated the same message and reads something that sounded legal and she was calling the police right now for them to come and get me. She also warmed me I was to tell no one of this call and just wait for the police to arrive.I panic, totally disorient and cannot think or realize I was being scammed. I called the police, they said it was a scam.
Earl
March 23, 2015
About 6 months ago I was contacted by the alleged IRS, several times, and informed to call them at a given number. I did some checking: the number they gave me was in Sacramento, CA. If the IRS was indeed calling the number would have been in Reno, NV. But, fortunately or unfortunately that is when they stopped calling before I could take any action. The che4cking I did was with the phone book (for location of the given number) and my tax preparers office (for where the IRS would have directed me). What tipped me off was that they didn't give an 800 number. The whole thing took place in a matter of abut 2 weeks, then it was over.
SAH
March 23, 2015
I just got a call that came from the IRS phone number of 800-829-1040. The man had a very thick Indian accent and asked me if I had a lawyer to deal with the lawsuit the IRS has filed against me. I said, can I call you right back? And he said, "no this line is tied up." Then I said, "well, I don't believe you." And he said well, then you'll be seeing a sheriff at your door very soon, and wished me luck. I hope if the IRS is filing lawsuits against people, they wait until these scams are under control because now I have to just wait to see if i have a knock at my door. I wish they would TELL US their procedure if in fact a law suit was actually pending (yes, I owe them money but just paid a chunk out of my 2014 return. The main thing is we as consumers need more help. Please set up a designated help line. Calling the IRS is ridiculous because a) you have zero idea which option to press for this issue and b) you can sit on hold for 50 minutes or longer.
FTC Staff
March 23, 2015

In reply to by SAH

Scammers will provide names, phone numbers and even addresses to make you believe they are legitimate. For example, they may give you the real address of the IRS.

However, the IRS will never call you to threaten you. That’s a sign that this is a scam. The IRS website (irs.gov) says the IRS will mail you a bill if you owe taxes, they never call first about taxes you owe. The IRS won't threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying

brownsgirl
March 23, 2015
rec'd call from what the gentleman said was the IRS Audit Dept.. Stated right from the start (whith no name given) the I had to contact a lawyer because of a lawsuit in my name for 2008 taxes. He did like it when I told him that I know for a fact that the IRS DOES NOT CALL ANYONE for this matter!!!
brownsgirl
March 23, 2015
the phone number I rec'd the tax scam from was 779-552-6416. Eastern Indian person making call.
kbru
March 23, 2015
Call from (360) 851 4707. Thick East Indian accent claiming to be from IRS indicating owed taxes. Would not let me speak to a supervisor.
elderly advocate
March 23, 2015
I received the same messages from "Steve Martin" on my elderly mother's a machine. He threatened a lawsuit and criminal action because of owed taxes? Yeah, right! When I called back the first # 1-772-266-0509, it was disconnected. They called again today from 1-703-828-0426, a different number but same voice. A man from India. I asked for his name and badge number. He yelled at me saying "This is the Internal Revenue Service, don't you understand that!? I told him if it really was, then why is he yelling? Could he please confirm his information, & he hung up. I called back and asked for his name, and he hung up again. The number was disconnected the third time I called.
zhana2345
November 23, 2015

In reply to by elderly advocate

Omg i m getting 2-3 calls a day from Steve Martin and company from IRS. I figured out ots a sxam bit happy to see i am not alone. My Indian Steve Martin called from 304 area code. It is nerve wracking!
SAH
March 23, 2015
Hi Ms. Small, thanks for your reply. I just got ANOTHER call about 5 mins ago from number 703-756-6663, left me a voice mail in a thick Indian accent. These guys are relentless. I wish I could call them back and scare the heck out of them some how. They're obviously reading from a script. I just can't answer my phone apparently.
calm
March 23, 2015
received message on my voicemail with message that federal has filed lawsuit against me for not responding to mail sent to me thru fedex 3 months ago and several messages on my voicemail and to call back this number (360)362-4505. I called and the first thing he said was "why did you hung up ma'am?" i said i did not hung up. I was responding to a message on my voicemail. he muttered "i do not like this" then I was on hold for several minutes. I was about to hung up and call again when he returned then asked me why I had called, so I had to tell him again I was responding to a message on my phone. I have had many phone calls made to IRS officers regarding notices I have received in the mail and I have a fair amount of experience to suspect this is not from irs. First thing that made me suspicious this is a scam is the number used which is not an 800 number. Next, IRS officers answer calls by identifying themselves with their name and badge number. I had to ask them to identify themselves and I had to ask for their ID No. Third, I was never asked my Tax ID before. Fourth, their badge number is different from the badge numbers of legitimate irs personnel. Fifth, irs never sent a notice thru fedex, it is always from usps and there is always a note from all carriers when a mail was undelivered. Finally, they were threatening, rude, impatient. Furthermore, they have an accent given their caucasian names and they mispronounced my very common name known worldwide. First person identified himself as Federal Officer Kevin Lloyd. I asked if they can send the notice in the mail again since I had not received them and he said they cannot as a warrant for my arrest has already been served and that they could only move forward from here and that I could speak to the accounting officer. I asked if he would give me a different number or if i should hold and he said to hold for a couple of minutes which actually took about 10 mins. Michael Jones, the "accounting officer" responded to say he audited my tax return and found miscalculation and that i owe federal for penalties from 2008-2013. I asked him which year was the miscalculation and he repeated 2008-2013. i told him he must have misunderstood as I was audited in 2008 and i have paid everything in full so it couldn't be included in the years he was talking about. he said IT IS from years 2008-2013. Then he said he will have to call me back and hung up. When I was audited before, I received a notice of the irs person to call and the specific findings or areas of discrepancy, not just to say there was a miscalculation. My co-worker experienced the same thing before and I wasn't aware that this has been going on until I had the same experience. I did give the last 4 digits of my social and they were able to pull out from their "file" my full name and address. When I gave the last 4 digits of my social is it enough information for identity theft?
zhana2345
November 23, 2015

In reply to by calm

Hello My case is very similar to yours. I also did give them the 4 numbers of my ssn and now i am concern...Id you found out if they can do anything please lwt me know. I am trying to google anything on that subject Thank you Zhana
DEL
March 23, 2015
Got 3 calls today from an Eastern Indian man telling me there was a bench warrant issued in my name (but didn't have my name) for tax fraud and tax evasion, and I was to call immediately. Needless to say, I didn't Phone number was 703-828-0433...which is routed through DC
Charlie W
March 24, 2015
I just got two calls from the "IRS" one from 703-828-0434 and a second 2 hours later from 206-708-2849. Both were identical recordings. What is interesting is that the recording seemed to be computer generated from text, and even had a slight Indian inflection. I am not worried about getting scammed myself, but I do worry about my elderly in-laws and sisters, who don't understand the technology. I think the FTC needs to do more to shut down what seems to be a potentially lucrative operation.
FTC Staff
March 24, 2015

In reply to by Charlie W

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

KellyW
April 02, 2015

In reply to by Charlie W

I got the exact same two calls, same phone numbers, same recording, about 18 hours apart.
No Ebay
January 05, 2018

In reply to by KellyW

REceived a call from Michael Anderson from the Altoona PA IRS office (I live in CA) He said they are issuing an arrest warrant if I don't contact him. Total Scam the number he called from 814-204-2445
UNKNOWN
March 24, 2015
Received a guy with a guy with a heavy Indian Accent from 703-756-6663. Something about me being involved in a tax fraud and if I didn't call back, they would issue a warrant for my arrest that very same day. The number he provided to call back was 703-436-5027. I already reported the scam with the US Treasury Inspector and here.
back @
March 24, 2015
Got one of those fake"IRS"calls,called number where it came from ,disconnected these lame fool's really think all american people are that stupid? Never think that the"IRS"will call and say you are being sued! The true IRS will send you a letter informing you to come into their office for a visit.Call me and tell me the "IRS" is sueing me,please.This is as stupid as someone from africa telling you have a great deal of money coming to you,this is something stupid some lazy idiot came up with to separate you from your money.
Tom E.
March 24, 2015
I've got a couple of thes calls. The ones today are from 703-828-0433 with a caller ID from Virginia. Apparently they are ghot phoning because my sheriff's office tracked it back to somewhere in Texas. Each time I've got one of these calls it's always someone with an India accent. I just kept telling him to get a job and that he was just a con man. He told me that I would soon be arrested and the first call was over a month ago and I've not seen the inside of a jail yet. These people are just sorry trash that don't have any morals or conscious. I'm afraid they'll find someone elderly and scare them into sending money to stay out of jail and the only ones that need to be in jail are the caller that's pretending to be the IRS.
gator73
March 24, 2015
I just received a similar call from 818-290-8616. The caller ID was from Oakdale, CA. First it was an automated message saying that I needed to call this dept. back because of a warrant. Like an idiot, I called it back. He said he was from the federal bureau of criminal investigations for the IRS. He said his name was Brian McCallister badge #98254. He had a thick indian accent and told me that the police would be there in 45 minutes to arrest me for tax fraud. He would not tell me what year or anything. He didn't ask for money just the authorities were on their way to arrest me. I just completed an identity theft investigation with the IRS a few months back. I was scared at first but after reading all this I should have known this was a scam.
MJ90266
March 25, 2015
I received 3 calls today and my daughter received one also in reference to me. The address in which they made reference is my ex-husbands's PO Box number. I laughed at him and said that I knew he was a fraud. My daughter was a bit freaked out that there may be real problem and the guy started to yell at her. She forwarded the info to me.
Sun2015
March 26, 2015
On March 20 I got IRS call from # 347-395-0307 (NY caller ID), left msg asking to call him back by 347-826-1886. Later I got call from 203-340-6903 (CT, USA).I picked the phone, it was a men voice stating that he is from IRS Investigation department and that they review my taxes for 5 years and find multiple miscalculations. I said that I am at work and cannot talk now. He was very rude. I hung up the phone. Yesterday I got 18 calls from 347-308-7891 NY, USA and 2 calls from 916-705-3161 CA, USA. Today - 2 calls from NY phone again. I am not responding but I am sick and tired.
FTC Staff
March 26, 2015

In reply to by Sun2015

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

Jeff H
March 26, 2015
Received a recorded message from 415.413.3497 today, March 26, 2015. The caller threatened immediate action for failure to respond.
Dabble
March 27, 2015
I also received a call from 1-703-828-0426 on March 27th @ 11:36 A.M.
Just Me
March 28, 2015
I too am an IRS scam victim. My calls were coming from an 855 area code. After several early morning wake up calls I finally answered planning to tell the telemarketers to stop calling. Instead I got a recording that I could not disconnect from threatening me with jail time for what I still don't know. Don't make the mistake I did of answering, ever since, I have been getting more calls and recorded threats from 321-445-1597 they even gave a bogus IRS ID number Do not answer. I'm hoping they will eventually give up and stop calling.
NoNoNotIRS
March 30, 2015
March 30th 2015: IRS Scamers are also calling from 646-583-1390 and 703-662-8316. Best to block calls from these numbers if you can. IMPORTANT TO NOTE - under no circumstances will the IRS telephone you without first mailing you (USPS, not email or fax!!!!) a notice that provides a case number plus full details of the potential tax problem.
not the IRS
March 31, 2015
I received a call from a 516-323-1211 claiming to be the IRS. I was at work and told him I will call back from home. He was very insistent to just give him my number and he could give me all my information. I said no, I will call back. As a matter of fact, I told him, I am going to report this phone number. Now when I call I can't get a hold of anyone.
hillybean1
March 31, 2015
iveuyu got very threating calls from Eric Foster phone number 202-407-7222. Says about taxes owed and said payment could only be made with pre-paid debit card.
FEDup
March 31, 2015
It's hard for the FTC to trace and bring charges since some, most, or all spoofing is done offshore by non - American entities. They cannot enforce our laws in different countries. Not only has my husband's cell phone number been spoofed but I consistently receive calls on my landline from my own landline.
Dove8982
March 31, 2015
Received a call this morning from (415) 234-0491 on my mobile requesting that I do not ignore this call, the IRS is looking to sue you". Called back from a land line and got "Officer Kevin". Officer Kevin asked for a reference number which I did not have one, but before he could ask me for any of my personal information, I asked him the question of "Without giving you any personal information, what reason does the IRS have to contact me, give me just a general answer"? he hung up.
Don't they go …
March 31, 2015
Agreed!
DO SOMETHING US GOV!
March 31, 2015
Received phone calls on answering machine last week and today from a Jim Grey and an Alan Smith stating a "legal Petition Notice for tax evasion and willful fraud lawsuit under my name had been filed. Numbers were from 347-471-2267 and 703-828-0429. I screen my calls and continue not to answer or call back!
Fed Up w/lunk-heads
April 01, 2015
Our household received an automated call from 360-861-4117 yesterday, 03/31/2015. The robot said they were from the IRS and this is our last warning, to call them right away at 360-861-4613 because the IRS was taking legal action against us. With all our technology, I don't understand why idiots like these can't be stopped. Come on USA, get your act together.
ill f
April 01, 2015
(415)413-3497 is one of these scam numbers but these IRS imposters are not from the us they had an Indian accent didn't ask for any information just spouted out a bunch of threats told me not to interrupt the to boot
phone call sca…
April 01, 2015
Have gotten two phone calls that left messages that they were the irs and they are filing a law suit against me. First time the phone # they left was 206-866-5054 and caller ID said unknown caller. The second time the phone # that was left was 253-617-7364 but caller ID came up from Texas at the number 972-453-9824. Called back at the 253-617-7364 and they wanted my phone #. Told them you called me, you must already have it and I hung up.
friendlygirl
April 02, 2015
I rec'd a called from someone that said they were the IRS on March 31, 2015 regarding my taxes; which I sent in my amended 2014 taxes. So, I first I thought it was them; but something told me it didn't sound like a real voice; more robotic. They stated, "I was in the process of being sued by the IRS and I should call this 1800 number back ASAP". This really startled me because I never thought the IRS will call someone on their home phone and say they was going to be sued. I thought they come to your house and hand you a letter of document of some sort. Well, I called the number back just to see who answered but the phone went to a busy signal, then stop. I hung up then and here I am writing to the IRS about this situation. I wish the Federal Trade Commission Agency can get a hold of these people and stop them in their tracks before it goes so viral that we wont trust any Companies or we'll all go broke.
dclaudew
April 02, 2015
Is it possible for the IRS to share the computer systems of the NSA so that trained analysts can trace the calls? I'm pretty sure that no terrorists are making multiple calls without getting a knock on their doors from the NSA/FBI.
Angry in MI
April 23, 2015

In reply to by dclaudew

Love your idea about sharing computer systems... all these scammers could be located, arrested and locked up in short order if that happened...But don't hold your breath waiting for it :-(
enough already
April 06, 2015
202-666-7410 202-666-4108 202-666-7410 202-666-4108 202-666-1993 202-666-9770 202-666-7440 202-666-1991 202-666-8000 202-666-5610 I receive at least two calls a day and usually they just hang up after I say hello. The first few times they called, I acted surprised about the call and told them IRS does not make direct calls. Usually, I just don't answer the calls because they are at inopportune time and I keep my ringer turned off. They do not leave messages. A few of the times when I have answered the phone, I just kept repeating "hello...hello...sorry, I can not hear you..." and they hang up. Once, I immediately told the person I needed his name and supervisors name and call back number as I had a brother who works for CIA collecting information on these scam calls. They hung up immediately. Now, I get called twice a day from the above numbers but no one ever is on the line, if I do answer my phone. This is getting old. I recently blocked the first seven numbers in the above list, but today I received a call from a new 202 area code number. I wish my kids would call this much! Today, I've decided to just consider the frequent calls as my kids checking in on me and I will get to harass them about when they are going to get married and give me grandchildren! I'm thankful for caller ID and a means to turn off my phone ringer.
MJW
April 02, 2015
I got a call today from the (415) 413-3497 # out of Corte Madera, CA and they told me that a warrant had been issued for my arrest and that the police would pick me up tomorrow. They claimed I owed over $4,000 in back taxes and that after the added legal fees I would owe over $18,000.
JC of KC
April 03, 2015
Got another call like "Stop the Madness" above saying they were going to file a lawsuit or that the IRS was about to start a criminal proceeding from 410-501-5474. Did a reverse track and it came from light Wave Communications LLC in MD
TGB in Tacoma
April 03, 2015
Got the voice message played above last Monday 3/30 from 509-207-4069
SmartLady
April 08, 2015
I received a very similar phone message this morning. I checked the number, 360-499-3204, on reverse phone lookup. They are in Oak Harbor, Washington state; no mention of it being an IRS office. I tried calling, out of curiosity. A man with a foreign accent answered with a name I couldn't understand, stating it's the office of (name) at the IRS. When I asked to confirm, he hung up. Immediately calling back, I got a busy signal. I went to the IRS website and found the link for reporting fraud, which I did, with great joy!!