My F&M

Tax Season is Prime Time for Phone Scams

Share This Article

Criminals never stop innovating.  Each year, they modify their scams to seem more authentic with the goal of increasing the level of fear and anxiety in their victims. Anxiety and fear cause people to fall prey to these scams.  Mix into the equation the stress induced by having to file taxes, and people are ripe to be exploited.   It is important to be hyper-vigilant in protecting sensitive information from scammers.

As part of their role in preventing loss, the IRS reminds taxpayers to maintain a heightened awareness of scams, especially phone scams.  Posing as IRS agents, phone scammers attempt to steal taxpayer money or personal information.  Scammers have become quite tricky and have cleverly learned how to disguise themselves to sound like they are from the IRS or others in the tax community.  They are employing aggressive tactics, particularly related to the threat of federal tax liens and law enforcement action.

The IRS has offered ways to avoid becoming a victim of these scammers by equipping people to recognize the telltale signs.  Below is a list of things the IRS says they will never do:

  • Initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or phone call
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method like a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.  (The IRS generally will contact you by mail for unpaid taxes.)
  • Threaten to send the local police or any law enforcement to your home
  • Call unexpectedly about a tax refund

Arming yourself with this knowledge will give you the confidence to recognize a phone scam and avoid providing sensitive information or losing money.  If you receive such a phone call, the IRS says to write down the phone number and then immediately hang up the phone.  You can report the number to and be sure to put “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line.

Email is also another common method for scammers to use.  If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the IRS:

  • Don’t reply.
  • Don’t open any attachments; they may contain malware that will infect your computer or cell phone. 
  • Don’t click on any links.  You can forward the email as-is to and then delete the original email.

If you receive a call or email that you think may be from a scammer, reach out to us to assist you with determining if there is a legitimate issue with your IRS account.