Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

IRS Scams

Con artists may contact you by telephone or e-mail claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and try to trick you into making payments for taxes they claim you owe. Or they might try to get you to give them your personal information.

The IRS is the government agency that collects taxes on behalf of the federal government, and the scammers can sound official and be very convincing. They may give you a badge number and have information about you, for example, your home address and the last four digits of your social security number. To make things worse, the scammers often have technology that masks their caller ID information, or may indicate that the call is coming from the IRS when, in fact, it is not. E-mails may appear official with government seals and logos.

Five red flags that can signal that the supposed IRS call is a fake.

5 things the scammers often do but the IRS will NEVER do. Any one of these 5 is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

1. Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement agencies to have you arrested for not paying.


If you do receive a telephone call or e-mail from someone purporting to be from the IRS, you should do the following:

*If you think you might owe taxes call the IRS. They can assist you in making necessary payments.

IRS Toll Free: 1-800-829-1040

*If you know you do not owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:

Toll Free: 1-800-366-4484


Read more from the IRS on this scam.