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You’ve probably gotten one of these calls: They say it’s the IRS and they’re filing a lawsuit against you for back taxes. They may threaten to arrest or deport you. What do you do? Watch this video to learn more:

The FTC worked with AARP to create a series of videos about imposter scams – including IRS imposters, Medicare scams, and robocalls. While the videos are aimed at older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the tips apply to everyone. Last week, we highlighted Medicare scams; this week, it’s IRS imposters. Next week, stay tuned for robocalls.

In the video, you’ll hear how these calls may sound – and then learn to spot and avoid these scammers. So, if you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:

  • Hang up. Don’t give personal or financial information to someone claiming to be from the IRS. If in doubt, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.
  • Don’t send money by wire transfer, prepaid card or gift card to someone claiming to be from the IRS. That’s a scam. The IRS will not require a specific type of payment.
  • Report the call. Report phony IRS calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at or to the FTC at The more we hear from you, the more we can help fight scams.
  • Tell your community. Let your family and friends know about IRS imposters.

For more information about stopping imposter scams, visit And to learn about how to stop unwanted calls, including using call blocking technology, go to

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To read a version of this blog post in Traditional Chinese, click here.

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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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March 22, 2019
Thank you I really appreciate you
March 22, 2019
Please provide authentic IRS contact methods. While telephonic frauds hiding behind IRS impersonation are important, please note the few and authentic means the IRS employs. Thanks again.
FTC Staff
March 22, 2019

In reply to by comment

This is from the IRS website:

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

Even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called “notices”) from the IRS in the mail.

March 22, 2019

In reply to by FTC Staff

Thanks again, it is very helpful for the Public to keep in mind that Government Agencies follow careful and detailed procedures in contacting individuals. Sometimes knowing 'what to expect' can help identify illegitimate or fraudulent methods of contact. These reminders help make caution a practice in prevention and are truly appreciated. Thanks again.
March 22, 2019
A year ago, I received a late night call from the "IRS." The call was from an number with a 323 area code. Immediately I knew that it was bogus. They threatened to arrest me for some fraud. I've had experience with the IRS, they always communicate in writing. They have toll-free numbers. I reported the incident to the FTC. On occasion, I still receive these calls.
March 22, 2019
Be aware I got mail today from a company called NETSPEND then I searched it on the net.A reply was NETSPEND is a fraud and a family that used it lost all their money.My fake card and info just got shredded in my can.
March 22, 2019
i am not going to have my hard earned money i worked for on hold. i need that money and me and my son are looking forward to it so we can get us a house to live n. we are struggling and i dont want us to be put on hold and then we become homeless. ive been reviewing what banks online to use when i do get my check. and yes ive ordered green dot card bc i thought i might just cash it and then put it on that card
March 22, 2019
I would have to have the FTC on robo-dial to report all of the scam calls I get wanting me to get a brace using my Medicare benefits. I've also had several false IRS calls. The one that troubles me most is the tech company wanting to refund my money, but they need access to my computer to do it.
March 29, 2019

In reply to by moorezip

I too have received calls about my eligibility to receive a "free knee (or leg) brace" for my "condition." I have started just hanging up as soon as I realize that it's just another scam for this "medicare approved" device.
March 22, 2019
Education for consumers is nice, but why can't the FTC take action? here's a suggestion. For any phone number that is registered on the Do Not call list the telephone company would enable a function (something like *88) that would forward the call to an autimated monitoring sysstem that would collect statistics on how many calls were forwarded to them from the originating number. Once a threshold is reached, the telephone company must report the number to the FCC and take action to shut it down if the research indicates it is a fraudulent or spam activity.
March 22, 2019
I had a call from Dustin Hoffman once from the IRS. I told him I liked him in Tootsie.
(201) 262-0702
March 25, 2019
Someone using this phone tried to scam me 2 weeks ago when they called me asking me to send them a payment to accept a larger check. I didn't think nothing of it and hung up, then about a week later I got a priority envelope in the mail with a fake check inside telling me to cash it. I threw it away. If you get a call from the number above don't engage.
March 25, 2019
These scammers have contacted me on numerous occasions. It does not end with them. They try and scare you. I am not Asian THEY CHOOSE ANYONE TO BE THEIR NEXT VICTIM. Why cant they be caught? Blessings
March 28, 2019

In reply to by Rapunzel

They are skip tracing you for old delinquent credit card, student loan, wireless or medical bill. Think...
July 02, 2019

In reply to by Rapunzel

They usually don't get caught because the scammers spoof someone else phone number as their caller id. So what shows up in Caller ID is someone else's or a businesses legit phone number which makes it hard to find the real scammer location.
March 26, 2019
I received a new call yesterday. Said they were from SSA to know me of fraudulent activity on my account. Same stuff trying to get my info. 234-249-5887. ‘Officer Richard Martin’
2 Cents
March 26, 2019
With all our technology, we can not shut these people down as telephone companies can trace every call VOIP or Landline if they wanted too. Yes it will take some work, but think of the millions being lost! If a small business person made an error calling someone on the do not call list, we would get the riot act and made an example of.
Janice Fugate
March 27, 2019
I have received several calls on my cell phone from someone pretending to be with the IRS, warning me that I will be arrested for owed taxes. I recorded the call and have all contact info. These people are blood sucking bottom feeders who take advantage of those who can least afford the loss. I know a lot of people who would be happy to punish the Blood Suckers if you could only catch them.
March 27, 2019
I just received a call from the IRS indicating there was a warrant out for my arrest for fraud and to call 240-766-7511 and give the last 4 of my SSN. First of all, this came into my work number which is in a totally different area code and there is no association to my Tax documents and my Work... WATCH OUT PEOPLE!!
March 27, 2019
Got a call from this number 1202 860 1907 claiming it was IRS asking for ss number Couldn't even speak English
April 02, 2019
April 02, 2019
Another IRS scam number: 855-341-2724
April 24, 2019
Don’t give out any info over the phone. Ask these people to provide you with your account number or social security number. They cant’t because it is a bogus call!?
April 30, 2019
When they called what I did was called them a few times and harassed them to take time away from them scamming others
Airline Scam A…
May 10, 2019
Airline Scam ALERT: 3477416098 Fake callers claiming to be airline representatives are on high alert scamming your money in pretext of canceling your flight booking. No AIRLINE/TRAVEL AGENCY can cancel your bookings unless you volunteer to cancel.
May 14, 2019
The fake IRS called me too. Twice. Believe me when I say after I was through with them, they haven't called me since. And I reported the call. DON'T be fooled people. These people are very cunning.
Frustrated in …
June 04, 2019
I have been inundated with these calls on my cell phone and they are getting increasing in amounts, one right after another. From 7:00 am right through 5 hours of my 8 hour working day. Message is a robot call coming from different numbers. Same voice, same partial message. I received no less than 10 calls yesterday from 7:00am to noon. I would block one number and they would call back from another number. They need to be stopped. It's harassment, invasion of my privacy and against the law
Daisy on't use…
June 14, 2019
Either social security administration or the IRS do not call you. They reach out to you via the mail
July 02, 2019
Been called from scammers say they were IRS all the time but the best one was when the scammer called and my own Home phone number showed on the caller ID as being IRS. I couldn't help but laugh at them and they got mad saying it was serious and I would be arrested. They hung up real quick when I informed them they need to try better then use the person they are calling's own Phone number
Texan J
July 10, 2019
Just hang up the phone. Or don't answer if you don't recognize the number. Either way when in doubt just remember you have the control don't give it to anyone else.
August 02, 2019
I get these calls two or three times a day on my cell phone telling me they are an officer of social security and my social security number has been stolen, the person states there name as officer periz
August 07, 2019
I new IRS scammer number called using the ph# 779-236-1089. I called them back advising they were fake, the gentleman, who had a very thick accent, got defensive, then nervous, and finally ended up just hanging up on me. please be careful.
August 09, 2019
I just received the call from number 385-2547879. They told me that they are from IRS investigations and they must arrest me. I am trying to call to IRS but I couldn’t. How to find out that it is a scam?
Linda C
August 12, 2019
Got a call from 318 232 8027 (robo) saying I was being sued for tax evasion and fraudulent practices. I have perfect tax payment history. I don't even have to file since I'm retired now. It's from Louisiana, when I looked up the number. They talk so fast I had no time to write anything down. Reported them to IRS and FTC.
August 21, 2019
IRS Scammers. I just got a call from these guys. 1-423-724-8824
Michael House
November 07, 2019
Yeah I got one of those IRS calls I told him to have the government itself call me if they do because I called the IRS and they said they don't call people call the guys
December 16, 2019
Even though my number is on the DO NOT CALL register I continue to get these calls. Once when they told me they were with the IRS,, I replied " wow! that's where I work" I asked "what is your IRS badge number?" Pause, the they made a couple foul remarks and cut off the conversation. The person was of Asian origin.