Barletta Warns of New Wave of IRS Phone Scams

Aug 23, 2016
Press Release
Area Residents Report Receiving Calls Attempting to Solicit Financial Information

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today warned that numerous Pennsylvania residents have contacted his office to report a telephone scam in which the caller impersonates a representative of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The caller identifies himself as an IRS agent and threatens legal action if the recipient of the call does not pay a specified amount in alleged taxes and penalties.  Barletta strongly advised citizens to refuse to provide any personally identifying information over the phone and to report such calls to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

“We have seen these IRS phone scams in the past, and apparently they are back again.  The sad fact is that these criminals would not be continuing this tactic if they were not successful in tricking some people into giving them money,” Barletta said.  “The most important thing to remember is that the IRS would never demand payment over the phone.  If you receive one of these calls, you should make a note of the number, immediately hang up, and report the call right away.”

The callers may already know certain pieces of information about their intended victims, which are used to give the scam more credibility.  It is important to note that there are certain things that the IRS would never do.  The IRS would not:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, or call about taxes owed without first having sent a bill through the U.S. mail. 
  • Demand tax payment without providing an opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say is owed.
  • Require a specific payment method for taxes owed, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to enforce non-payment.

Residents who receive a call they believe to be part of this scam should:

  • Refuse to provide any information to the caller.
  • Hang up immediately.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration to report the call online by using their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page, or by calling (800) 366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.  Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov.  Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.