Scammers are especially active during tax-filing season, and people lose millions of dollars a year due to IRS scams. Criminals impersonating IRS agents, other government employees or debt collectors over the phone, online or via the mail in an effort to trick you into sending them money for taxes, penalties or fees you don’t actually owe.

Don’t be one of them. Here’s a list of recent IRS scams and tips on how to spot one.

  1. ‘We recalculated your tax refund and you need to fill out this form’

These emails or phone calls will ask people to click a link and/or provide their Social Security numbers, birthday, address, driver’s license number and other personal information in order to submit a fake form to allegedly claim their refund.

  1. ‘We’ll cancel your Social Security number’

In this IRS scam, the criminal contacts the victim and claims that he or she can suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number.

The IRS website states that if taxpayers receive a call threatening to suspend their SSN for an unpaid tax bill, they should record the number and hang up.

  1. ‘This is the Bureau of Tax Enforcement, and we’re putting a lien or levy on your assets’

There is no Bureau of Tax Enforcement. Victims often receive a letter from the fake agency claiming that they have a tax lien or tax levy and that they had better pay the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement” or else.

  1. ‘Click on this to see your tax transcript’

In this scam, fraudsters send an email with an attachment they claim is the taxpayer’s tax transcript. (A tax transcript is a summary of a person’s tax return.) Although tax transcripts are a real thing that the IRS provides, the IRS does not email tax transcripts. You can request one directly from the IRS, which it will then mail to you.

  1. ‘We’re calling from the FDIC and we need your bank information’

The Federal Depository Insurance Corporation insures bank deposits so that consumers won’t lose all of their money if a bank fails. But it does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money, sensitive personal information, bank account information, credit and debit card numbers, Social Security numbers or passwords. Scammers claiming to be from the FDIC are hunting for information they can use to commit fraud or sell identities.


You can visit the IRS’s website for more information.

How to report IRS scams

  • Forward email messages or phone numbers that claim to be from the IRS to Do not open the attachments or click on any links in those emails.
  • Tell the Federal Trade Commission via the FTC Complaint Assistant on Add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • Report Social Security Administration phone impostor scams using the form on the Social Security Administration’s website.
  • If the IRS scams appear to be impersonating a state tax authority rather than the IRS, contact the state Attorney General’s office.


This article is provided only as a resource for information by Beacon Credit Union

Taxpayers beware: Tax season is prime time for phone scams | Internal Revenue Service. (2022, January 27). Retrieved February 15, 2023, from