Individuals impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees are making unsolicited
threatening telephone calls to taxpayers. They use the threat of arrest to obtain money from
victims by falsely representing that the victims owe back taxes or other fees. The perpetrators
the victims send them money via iTunes cards, other prepaid debit cards, money orders, or wire
transfers from their banks.
Since October 2013, TIGTA has received reports of these fraudulent calls in every State in the
country. The perpetrators are calling with multiple caller IDs from around the world. The top
five States with the most losses are: (1) California – more than $10 million; (2) New York – more
than $4 million; (3) Texas – more than $4 million; (4) Illinois – more than $3 million; and (5)
Florida – more than $2 million.1
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was established in 1999, as an
that provides oversight of the IRS, and reports directly to the Treasury Secretary. We audit,
investigate and inspect the IRS and the Federal tax system in order to ensure that the IRS is
accountable for the trillions of dollars in revenue
that it collects each year. We protect the integrity of the system and save taxpayers millions of
dollars each year. For every dollar invested in TIGTA, taxpayers receive $1682 in savings.
1 Data are from Oct. 2013 to Nov. 1, 2016.
2 TIGTA, Overall Performance Report FY 2015 (September 15, 2015)
WHAT TO DO?
First, hang up! Do not
engage with these callers.
If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at
800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on TIGTA’s website,
www.tigta.gov or call TIGTA at 800-366-4484
You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS
Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.