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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

IRS Phone Scam

Feb 10, 2015

Dear Friends,

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has notified my office of IRS phone scams that continue to defraud individuals across the country. According to the OIG, these scammers are demanding money to pay off tax debts, threatening individuals with legal action for taxes due on prior year tax filings, and trying to defraud individuals by saying they are owed a tax refund to lure them into revealing their banking or other private financial information. 

It has also been reported that the scammers may know some personal information and will use fake IRS employee ID numbers in order to seem legitimate.  Additionally, the OIG reports that the scammers often disguise their phone number so that it appears the IRS is calling when you look at your caller ID. 

Please know the IRS will never do the following things that scammers will often times try.  The IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will never call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here is what to do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to talk about payment options.  You also may be able to set up a payment plan online at IRS.gov.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • If phone scammers target you, contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.  Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report the scam.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.



Member of Congress