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. Thieves also impersonate the IRS just to steal taxpayers’ money. Here are a few things you should know so you don’t fall victim to these scams:

  1. First, the IRS won’t initiate contact with you by email or over social media to request personal or financial information.
  2. Second, the IRS doesn’t send texts with links to claim a refund or texts demanding payment.
  3. Third, look out for fake emails, social media, or websites pretending to be the IRS or IRS officials, especially where someone tells you a penalty or fee is required to receive things like investment dividends, a job, or lottery winnings.
  4. 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, nor will they demand immediate payment by gift card.
  5. Finally, remember the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. 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 report them.

Remember to check out for more information and tips on avoiding scammers.