Money and Debt

IRS phone scams

If you get an unexpected phone call from the IRS, it’s probably a scam to steal your money and personal information. Learn more about protecting yourself from IRS phone scams.

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If you receive an unexpected phone call about your taxes, it’s probably a scam.

Signs of IRS impersonation scams

To trick you, scammers may:

  • Give fake names and IRS badge numbers
  • Hang up and call you later pretending to be police officers
  • Know some details about you (such as the last 4 digits of your Social Security number)
  • Make a “robo-call” that tells you to return the call
  • Spoof their phone number

Real IRS agents will never:

  • Demand immediate payment using a specific method (such as debit card, gift card or wire transfer)
  • Threaten to send the police or revoke your driver’s license
  • Ask for your credit or debit card number over the phone
  • Call about an unexpected refund

If you actually owe taxes, the IRS will usually mail you a bill.

What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS call

If you receive a suspicious IRS call, you should hang up immediately. Do not give any information to the caller.

Next, you should report the call to:

What to do if you owe taxes

If you think you may owe taxes, you should:

  • Call the IRS. Call (800) 829-1040 to reach real IRS workers. They can help you.
  • Check your taxes online. Go to to review your recent tax history.
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