Scammers pretend to be IRS employees, demand money

VIDEO: Authorities warn of IRS phone scam

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The IRS says scammers posing as agents with the agency are demanding money from would-be victims with the threat of arrest for those who do not comply.

Investigators say residents across the country have reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to be with the IRS. The callers claim a lawsuit has been filed against their would-be victims.

Authorities with the IRS say those claims are false and says to watch for tell-tale signs to tip off a scam:

  • If they demand immediate payment. In reality, the IRS will mail you a bill first.
  • If they won't let you appeal or challenge the amount they say you owe.
  • If they only let you pay through one method, for example, a prepaid debit card.
  • If they ask for your card information over the phone.
  • Or if they threaten to have you arrested.

The scammers sometimes altering the Caller ID, so it appears like it's legitimate, investigators say.

If you think you've been targeted, you can report it through the Treasury Inspector General at

, or through the FTC at


The IRS also says it'll never use text, email or social media to discuss personal tax issues.

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