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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office issues warning about IRS phone scams

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Several West Virginians have contacted the United States Attorney’s Office about robocalls fraudulently claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and demanding immediate payment, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. These calls are not from the IRS, and are merely another scam carried out by criminals. The robocalls often contain aggressive language, insist on payment within an hour of the call, and threaten punishment if back taxes are not paid.

“These IRS phone scams can happen any time, not just around tax season, and people need to be wary. Criminals will use any trick to swindle honest people out of their hard-earned money, including phone calls to the home.” said Acting United States Attorney Casto. “We will continue working with the IRS to hold these criminals accountable and help West Virginians protect their personal and financial information.”

Be aware that many of these IRS phone scams use intimidating or bullying language to get payment for back taxes. The IRS will not contact you to demand immediate payment, and will not call you prior to sending a bill by mail. The IRS will also not demand that you pay your taxes a certain way or ask for credit card numbers over the phone. Most importantly, a legitimate call from the IRS will not threaten to have police arrest you for not paying.

Remember, if you think you owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and IRS workers can provide assistance. If you get one of these scam phone calls, you can contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call at 800-366-4484 or online at

Updated February 11, 2016

Community Outreach
Consumer Protection