Phishing and Online IRS Scams
The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to email@example.com. If you've experienced any monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) (https://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml) and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their Complaint Assistant (https://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en&OrgCode=IRS) to make the information available to investigators.
If the spam came from a Gmail account, you can report spam (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/190737?hl=en) and phishing (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/184963?hl=en) to us.
IRS Telephone Scam
You are contacted by phone and told that you owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If you refuse to cooperate, you may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
The IRS does not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.
Other characteristics of this scam include:
*Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
*Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
*Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
*Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
*Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
*After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
*If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
*If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (https://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/) at 1.800.366.4484.
*You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant (https://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exit.jsp?dest=https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en&OrgCode=IRS); choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
Additional information regarding IRS scams can be found on the IRS website (https://www.irs.gov/help-resources).
If you have encountered an IRS online or phone scam, and the scammer used any Google services to facilitate the scam (Gmail, Google Payments, Google Play Cards, etc…) we encourage you to report the scam to us.
Google is unable to respond to all individual inquiries.
Send the attachment(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org using the same email account used to report the scam in this form.