New Phone Scam Mimics IRS TAC Phone Number


In the latest version of the phone scam, criminals use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills. Scammers claim to be calling from a local IRS TAC office, and program their computers to display the TAC telephone number, which appears on the taxpayer’s Caller ID.

If the taxpayer questions their demand for tax payment, the scammers direct the taxpayer to to look up the local TAC office telephone number to verify the phone number. The crooks hang up, wait a short time and then call back a second time, and they are able to fake or “spoof” the Caller ID to appear to be the IRS office calling. After the taxpayer has “verified” the call number, the fraudsters resume their demands for money, generally demanding payment on a debit card.

Fraudsters have also been similarly spoofing local sheriff’s offices, state Department of Motor Vehicles, federal agencies and others to convince taxpayers the call is legitimate.    

Remind your clients that IRS TAC office employees do not make calls to taxpayers to demand payment of overdue tax bills. Although there are some special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business (such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, or to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations), the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

Taxpayers who receive an IRS phone or other impersonation scam should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at its IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting site and to the IRS by emailing with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam.”

Savvy small business owners who become aware of any illegal tax scam or scheme are encouraged to report it to the appropriate IRS contact: Tax Scams — How to Report Them.