BBB Warns of IRS Phone Scam

Scammers claim to be from the IRS and threaten to arrest you or freeze financial assets if you don't pay "overdue taxes."
May 09, 2014

Tax season may have ended, but scammers are still targeting Western Pennsylvania taxpayers through phone calls alleging that they must pay “overdue taxes” immediately. The caller claims to be from the IRS and threatens to put an arrest warrant out or freeze financial assets, unless you provide credit or debit card information over the phone for payment. In a slightly different variation of this scam, the caller will request money be wire transferred or loaded onto a pre-paid debit card.

Your Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be cautious of anyone who is attempting to use high pressure scare tactics to trick you into an immediate reaction. If someone calls you wanting payment or personal information, always hang-up the phone and confirm the caller’s true identity. Sophisticated scammers may even use “spoofing” to modify the caller ID to appear that the IRS is actually calling you.

Follow BBB’s tips to prevent becoming a victim of this phone scam:

  • Beware of any caller claiming to be from the IRS and demanding money. The IRS announced that it would never ask for payments by wire transfer or a prepaid card and it will typically alert taxpayers of unpaid taxes via the mail, not a phone call.
  • Know that the IRS will never threaten to arrest an individual and if you do owe back taxes, the IRS will send out notices. People usually receive multiple notices from the IRS when they owe money.
  • Never trust a caller who is threatening you and being hostile in an attempt to bully you into providing payment or information.

For more helpful information and tips you can trust, visit