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Tax Tip Tuesday: Scammers posing as the IRS

Scammers are calling, texting, emailing and sending social media messages claiming to be with the IRS.
phone scam
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 18:27:52-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers are getting scammed this tax season by people claiming to be from the IRS.

Scammers are calling, texting, emailing, and sending social media messages claiming to be with the IRS.

Typically, they say you owe the IRS money and demand you pay up or face jail time.

The IRS says they will never threaten you, and they won’t ask for unusual payment forms like iTunes gift cards or a wire transfer.

Keep in mind, phone numbers can be spoofed to look like they’re coming from the IRS.

Stacy Engle, an IRS spokesperson based in Indianapolis, says the IRS will never, text, email or send you a Facebook message.

“Generally, initial contact by the IRS is from notice or letter through the United States Postal Service,” said Engle. “In order to verify if you have a balance due, make sure to open all the letters you receive from the IRS. The letter will tell you that you have a balance, and they're warning you we may call you or show up."

Some scammers may also claim they have your tax refund, but the IRS says they will never call you out of the blue about getting your money.

If you’re not sure if you owe money, go to an IRS walk-in center or call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.

How to report an IRS impersonator:

The IRS says they will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving taxpayers the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund.

Have you been a victim of a scam? Contact WRTV Investigates at


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