What is the IRS phone call scam?

Someone calls you claiming they work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you owe the back taxes or they are asking for your Social Security Number (SSN). This is a scam to try and extort money from you or a phishing attempt to try and steal your identity. The IRS will NEVER call you out of the blue stating you owe back taxes or ask for your personal information. The IRS will only send notices of back owed taxes through the mail and it will come on official letterhead.

The caller will say they are someone with an official title like "Officer" and claim you are going to be sued, you have a warrant for your arrest, your property will be seized, freeze your bank accounts, your wages will be garnished or a lien/judgement will be placed against you. They will tell you any number of scary things trying to get you to do what they say. The caller could have a thick sounding accent or use broken english as most of these scammers are not even located in the United States. They will tell you they can make it all go away for a "one-time" payment of a specific amount of money payable to an account they specify. Often they will tell you to pay them in gift cards or pre-paid credit cards, most of which are untraceable.

Beware because, in addition to trying to extort money from you, they are often also after your Social Security Number or personal information for which they will use to steal your identity. Whatever you do, do not pay them or give them any of your information!

What should I do when I get a call?

Stay calm and resist the pressure to act quickly. Get their information and then tell the caller you will call them back, but DO NOT call the number they called you from. They will probably yell and threaten you for even asking for their information. Ignore them and insist they give you their information. If they don't give you their info, you can assume it is a scam and hang up on them. If they did give you their information, call the official IRS number at 1-800-366-4484 to validate if the caller was really from the IRS. In nearly all cases, you're going to find that it wasn't a real call from the IRS.

If you feel threatened, call your local police department and file a police report.

What can you to help stop this?

  1. Report the phone number to the IRS. They have a special website setup just for this. You can find it here: TIGTA
  2. Search for the phone number on CallReceived.com and report the number here as well, as we're keeping track of the phone numbers these scammers are using.

IRS Phone Numbers

Per the IRS website:

Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, unless otherwise noted. Residents of Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific time. Puerto Rico phone lines are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

Individuals:
1-800-829-1040

Businesses:
1-800-829-4933

See their contact page for more detailed information: IRS Telephone Contact
You can also contact your local IRS office by using this form: Find Your Local IRS Office

How many reports do you have about the IRS scam in the last 12 months?

We created this chart so you can see the volume:

What phone numbers have been reported recently?

Phone Number # of Reports Most Recent Report
512-887-9500107/17/2019 11:02 am
438-700-4511307/10/2019 4:18 pm
646-481-5954107/01/2019 2:23 pm
984-538-1130206/25/2019 3:00 pm
512-562-0078106/20/2019 11:55 am
416-402-1365106/18/2019 10:56 am
416-402-1350106/18/2019 8:44 am
416-406-1469106/17/2019 6:46 pm
415-988-9160106/13/2019 12:40 pm
203-463-2313106/12/2019 1:12 pm
419-320-1718106/10/2019 12:08 pm
360-886-3720106/06/2019 11:26 am
281-823-8544106/06/2019 10:17 am
707-335-6457105/30/2019 1:56 pm
718-666-3629105/28/2019 1:15 pm
234-231-0036105/23/2019 1:19 pm
289-200-5924205/24/2019 8:16 am
323-744-3261105/17/2019 7:05 am
204-378-0026105/09/2019 3:52 pm
604-727-1389105/07/2019 4:02 pm
703-586-9689105/07/2019 1:37 am
702-517-5555205/03/2019 4:50 pm
678-647-8188105/03/2019 3:11 pm
888-815-0035105/01/2019 2:50 pm
226-979-8272104/26/2019 1:24 pm
848-200-1641204/29/2019 2:42 pm
303-974-9331104/24/2019 3:22 pm
800-604-1783104/23/2019 6:04 pm
707-306-0046104/22/2019 5:20 pm
646-494-5977104/20/2019 12:39 pm

What states have the most IRS scam calls?

Country State # of Reports Most Recent Report
USANew York38407/01/2019
USACalifornia36906/13/2019
USATexas14007/17/2019
CanadaOntario 11906/18/2019
USAWashington11606/06/2019
USAFlorida7603/22/2019
USANew Jersey6304/29/2019
USAWashington DC5309/04/2018
USAPennsylvania5102/16/2019
USAColorado4904/24/2019
USAGeorgia4805/03/2019
USANorth Carolina4506/25/2019
USAIllinois4401/22/2019
USAOhio4206/10/2019
USAVermont3312/06/2018
USAVirginia3205/07/2019
USAMissouri3108/14/2018
USAMassachusetts3011/22/2018
USAArizona3008/23/2018
USAKentucky2708/18/2018
USAMaryland2704/08/2019
USALouisiana2604/02/2018
USANew Mexico2609/23/2016
USAMinnesota2409/27/2018
USATennessee2207/12/2018
USAOregon2011/20/2018
USAMichigan2003/08/2019
USANorth Dakota1909/19/2016
USAAlabama1906/30/2017
USAWisconsin1709/06/2017
CanadaBritish Columbia 1605/07/2019
USAIowa1503/26/2019
USAOklahoma1505/26/2017
USAIndiana1412/14/2018
USASouth Carolina1305/02/2017
USAMaine1309/23/2016
CanadaQuebec 1207/10/2019
USAKansas1010/05/2018
USANevada905/03/2019
USADelaware703/27/2019
USAUtah701/07/2019
USANew Hampshire707/29/2016
705/01/2019
USAWest Virginia609/17/2018
USAArkansas611/20/2018
USAMississippi601/23/2018
CanadaNewfoundland410/16/2017
CanadaManitoba 405/09/2019
USAConnecticut406/12/2019
USAMontana305/15/2018
CanadaAlberta 306/18/2018
USANebraska307/06/2018
USASouth Dakota208/05/2018
USAHawaii208/24/2016
CanadaSaskatchewan 206/14/2017
USARhode Island109/21/2018
USAAlaska106/09/2016

Recent IRS Scam Comments

512-887-9500

July 17, 2019 11:02 am

Asked this telemarketer 4 times to remove my name from his call list and he repeatedly told me he would not. He is selling senior health insurance. I told them he was breaking the law by continuing to deny me my right to say no and eventually hung up on him. very clear Indian accent. Male

Caller Type: IRS Scam

438-700-4511

July 10, 2019 4:18 pm

Very unpleasant manacing Call,-treating with ongoing Law Suit launched by Canada Revenue Agency and pushing to immediately contact their Agent.
It has been second time, as I remember I've got this same kind of Call about one Year ago.
Actually in both Cases there was no Telephone Rings,- just Meaasages left on Answering Machine.
It sounds like their Operators are not from Canada and calling around with many different Issues.

Caller or Company: 1-438-700-4511

Caller Type: IRS Scam

438-700-4511

July 8, 2019 3:44 pm

same thing--Menacing me with a law suit from CRA, revenue Canada

Caller or Company: caleer said they were the CRA.

Caller Type: IRS Scam

438-700-4511

July 5, 2019 6:26 am

Menacing me with a law suit from CRA, revenue Canada

Caller or Company: 1-438-700-4511

Caller Type: IRS Scam

646-481-5954

July 1, 2019 2:23 pm

Fraud IRS Call - total call center noise and guy was rude
I said if you are the IRS you would know to call my CPA as my tax return says

Guy started saying something about warranty..... I said BS, the IRS can not arrest anyone

Caller or Company: FAKE IRS

Caller Type: IRS Scam

984-538-1130

June 25, 2019 3:00 pm

Same here, recorded message stating that my SS# was used in illegal activities and to call before they take actions against me

Caller or Company: Spam call

Caller Type: IRS Scam

984-538-1130

June 25, 2019 2:47 pm

Left voicemail, Pretending to be the IRS, said there was criminal activity recorded against my social security number.

Caller or Company: Spam

Caller Type: IRS Scam

512-562-0078

June 20, 2019 11:55 am

They left a message about a legal action being taking against my ssn#. I called today they said they were with the social security administration. They were asking for my personal info and when I refused they hung up on me.

Caller Type: IRS Scam

416-402-1365

June 18, 2019 10:56 am

voicemail message left as a ploy with a threating message to contact CRA, stating the need to appear before the court for a criminal offence.

Caller or Company: Stated that the call is from CRA Treasury

Caller Type: IRS Scam

416-402-1350

June 18, 2019 8:44 am

I was also left automated message from this number threatening legal action.

Caller Type: IRS Scam

416-406-1469

June 17, 2019 6:46 pm

Total scam number. Threatened to send the FBI after me! Lol! Wrong country morons!! ????

Caller Type: IRS Scam

415-988-9160

June 13, 2019 12:40 pm

They left a message threatening a law suit regarding a tax deficiency and tax fraud.

Caller or Company: Onvoy, San Francisco, CA

Caller Type: IRS Scam

203-463-2313

June 12, 2019 1:12 pm

accused me of tax fraud and tax evasion, requested a callback to avoid criminal enforcement.

Caller Type: IRS Scam

419-320-1718

June 10, 2019 12:08 pm

Caller said they were trying to get in touch with me regarding past due taxes.
I hung up and caller is calling back every couple of minutes at least 5 more times.

Caller Type: IRS Scam

360-886-3720

June 6, 2019 11:26 am

Caller stated my social security number was being suspended for criminal activity and if I don't call back they will secure a warrant for my arrest. Don't think they knew they had just called a US Marshall...

Caller Type: IRS Scam