You get a call from someone who says they are from the IRS. They say that you owe back taxes. They threaten to sue you, arrest or deport you, or revoke your license if you don’t pay right away. They tell you to put money on a prepaid debit card and give them the card numbers. The caller may know part or all of your Social Security number. The call may show a caller ID with a Washington, DC area code. But is it really the IRS calling?

NO. The real IRS won’t ask you to pay with a prepaid debit card or wire transfers. They also won’t ask for a credit card over the phone. And when the IRS first contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail, not by phone. And caller ID’s can be faked.

Here’s what you can do:

1.Stop. Don’t wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card. Once you send it, the money is gone. If you have tax questions, go to or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

2.Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these calls, but the chances are you know someone who has.

Please Report Scams

If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Report a scam online at or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP(1-877-382-4357) or          TTY 1-866-653-4261. Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the imposters and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.