Thieves are constantly working to steal people’s identity and personal data so they can use it to fraudulently file tax returns and claim refund money that isn’t theirs.

Here are a few things you should know so you don’t fall victim to these scams:

First, the IRS won’t initiate contact with you by email or over social media to request personal or financial information.

Second, the IRS also doesn’t send text messages offering things like tax relief, tax credits, or help setting up an online account.

Third, look out for fake emails or websites pretending to be the IRS. Don’t click links you cannot trust.

Fourth, phone scams impersonating the IRS often threaten taxpayers with things like arrest and deportation. Remember, the IRS doesn’t leave pre-recorded, urgent, or menacing messages or demand immediate payment by gift card.

Finally, remember the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail. However, there are times when the IRS will call or come to a home or business. Even then, you’ll generally first receive several letters from the IRS in the mail. If you believe you’ve been contacted by a scammer, visit for details on how to turn them in.