Every year scammers come up with new ways to trick you into providing personal information. Here are some ways to recognize these scams.
Email phishing scams are common, and you should know that the IRS will generally send you a bill in the mail if you owe taxes. Calls or visits to a home or business by the IRS are rare and typically reserved for special circumstances such as audits. The IRS will not email you to request personal or financial information. If you receive a suspicious email do not open any attachments, click on links, reply, or act on any directions that put you at risk. You should report it to the IRS at email@example.com.
Phone scams involve people creating fake caller ID numbers and presenting themselves as either the IRS or an authorized collection agency. The IRS and authorized collectors will not threaten you with arrest or deportment over nonpayment. They will not demand payment using a method such as wire transfer, gift card, or prepaid debit card. These are not payment methods used by the IRS. Payments should not be made to third parties.
If you receive these calls but do not owe taxes, hang up immediately and report the call by sending the caller ID and callback number to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line including "IRS Phone Scam." If you do believe you owe taxes, view your tax account information online at IRS.gov to verify the amount owed and review your payment options.