advice hub

Tips to Avoid IRS Impostor Scams

Tips to Avoid IRS Scams

Don’t Fall for IRS Impostor Scams

Every year around tax season, IRS impostors look for ways to scam people out their money and identity. During uncertain times, scammers step up their game to target as many victims as possible.

Here are some tips to help keep you and your information safe from IRS impostors.

Approach with caution

When you are looking at how to spot a scam, approaching unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts, or letters with some level of caution is a good first step.

Before clicking, responding, or giving out information, stop and access the situation. Does the message seem overly threatening? Is an offer too good to be true? Are you asking to give out important information? These could all be signs that an impostor is targeting you.

IRS: ignore ridiculous scammers

The IRS’s website offers some great information about what to look for with IRS scams specifically, and how you can report them.

The two main types of IRS scams include: tax collection and verification.

Tax collection scams will demand that you pay money immediately, usually with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They might even threaten you with arrest.

Verification scams want you to verify your personal information and often include an email links with phrases like “click here.” Or, you may see a button that links you to a fraudulent form or website.

Here’s a quick look at what to look out for:

  • Phone calls/Spoof caller ID. The IRS says they will always contact you by mail before calling you about unpaid taxes.
  • Threats. The IRS will never threaten you with arrest for non-payment.
  • Fraudulent IRS email messages. Review a sample IRS phishing email.

Keep financial information safe

Scammers are mainly driven by money, so it’s important to keep your financial information safe. Remember, United will never ask for:

  • Your full social security number, debit or credit card numbers (including the 3-digit verification code on the back), PIN, and other types of unique identifying numbers
  • Secure access codes received via text, email, or phone
  • Passwords for your accounts

If you believe you have been targeted by an IRS impostor, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). You can report IRS impostor scams online or by calling TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484. Forward email messages that claim to be from the IRS to