Phone scams are nothing new, but the IRS says that scammers are trying a new tactic: impersonating an IRS employee calling to verify tax return information over the phone.

Criminals will call taxpayers claiming they’re from the IRS and saying that they have your tax return but need to verify a few details in order to process the return. They ask for your Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.

The IRS reiterates that they will never call asking for personal information, and they will never get aggressive, threatening you to make an immediate payment.

This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced in the last two years, over 5,000 victims have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of phishing scams. Just this year, the IRS has seen a 400% increase in phishing schemes.

What To Do To Protect Yourself

  • Don’t rely on Caller ID — scammers alter Caller ID numbers to appear as if the call is from the IRS.
  • Never make a payment to the IRS over the phone. 
  • Never provide personal information to anyone calling you.
  • If you receive a call, hang up and contact the IRS directly. You can use the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.

The key to not falling for a scam is not to panic. If you receive a threatening call, you can be confident that it’s not from the IRS.