Supposed Internal Revenue Service phone calls are a scam

A warning from Hayward police about supposed calls from Internal Revenue Service claiming money owed. A simple thing to remember: the IRS ONLY CONTACTS BY MAIL  But those phone messages are scary; I received one and it was intimidating.

From Hayward police:

This is a warning to taxpayers to beware of phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or U.S. Treasury Department in an effort to collect money from you.

The Hayward Police Department received numerous calls from concerned citizens claiming they have received calls with pre-recorded messages, such as, “This message is intended to contact you regarding an enforcement action executed by U.S. Treasury/IRS.” Callers tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The callers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license. They would leave the return contact name of “Steve Martin” or other IRS personnel.

According to the IRS, they contact people by mail – not by phone – about unpaid taxes. And the IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS also won’t ask for a credit card number over the phone.

The callers who commit this fraud often:
• Use common names and fake IRS badge numbers.
• Know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security Number.
• Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
• Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their scam.
• Call a second time claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS/U.S. Treasury asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
• If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
• If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
• You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

Be alert for e-mail scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by e-mail, texting or any social media. You should forward scam e-mails to phishing@irs.gov. Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those e-mails.

To report a scam: http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml


  • Edwin Flynn

    As you pointed out, caller ID service is indeed susceptible to fraud. This article
    at https://www.callercenter.com/blg/articles/spoofing-caller-ids/ explains caller ID spoofing and how these scam artists are able to deliberately fake the telephone number and/or name displayed as the caller
    information to disguise themselves. So let this be a warning to everyone. Be skeptical when
    answering phone calls. If the call is
    suspicious, don’t engage and simply hang up.

  • Laila Keirstead

    This is why you must be careful with the phone calls that come through. Even for businesses, there are all sorts of these callers that end up jamming the lines when you could be taking calls from actual customers. I think you can get a filter or get the IP taken off of the list from those companies. http://www.danmax.com/home-security.html

  • H.K.Svoboda

    I was warned the local police would be here at my home to serve a warrant for my arrest within 2hrs. Was told I haven’t filed my annual taxes and I will be put in jail in Alaska for 5-7yrs. Total Scam from people I could not understand. Eastern Indian accent. SMH!