Beware of tax schemes, in which fraudsters send official-looking emails asking for personal tax information, or telephone scam artists call and pretend to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Taxpayers are urged to ignore these scams and instead report them to the FTC Complaint Assistant.


Fake emails are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking they are official communications from the IRS. They may ask taxpayers for information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information—information used to file false tax returns.


When people click on links within the emails, they are taken to sites—imitating official-looking websites—that ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information. They also may carry malware, which can infect people’s computers, further allowing criminals to access personal information. The IRS urges people not to click on these links but instead send the email to


Remember that the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.


During fake phone calls, callers may demand money or say the person they’re calling has a refund due. They may know a lot about that person and can even alter the caller ID to make it look like they’re with the IRS. Do not be deceived by these threatening phone calls and know that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment nor call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill
  • Demand tax payment without allowing the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed
  • Require a specific payment method for taxes
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying


If you have any questions about scam phone calls or email schemes, contact a tax professional at or 952.893.9320.





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