Thieves use email, telephone, and social media for various online scams. They also send fake text messages, known as smishing. Remember that the IRS will not contact you by text message or social media and ask for personal or financial information. The IRS will also not initiate contact by phone or email. If the IRS needs to contact you, it’ll usually first send a letter in the mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

Like phishing scams, which are scams sent by email, smishing scams will appear to be from trusted companies, government agencies, and charities. Cyber criminals pose as the IRS and Treasury Department in smishing scams that attempt to collect personal and financial information from taxpayers. These text messages will often use fake URLs and fake website names. Do not open them! They could lead you to a website that can be used to steal your personal information. They could even load malware onto your device. These text messages may also contain a telephone number to call back. Do NOT call that number!

Remember, you should be wary of ANY unsolicited text messages you receive – whether it says it’s from the IRS or an organization offering governmental aid. Always verify that contact, content, and context with the actual government agency on their actual governmen website. Taxpayers should report fake IRS, Treasury, and tax-related text messages to For more information on how to identity the scams and protect yourself, visit