Got a Text About Money From the IRS? It’s Probably a Scam

As the IRS relaunches its annual Dirty Dozen tax scams campaign, it’s taking aim at something new: phishing scams via text message. Criminals posing as the IRS are sending consumers texts dangling fake COVID-19 relief checks and bogus tax credits that are too good to be true. The scammers are then trying to steal their victims’ personal information, the agency warns.

Can I delete my account and start over?

Got a text about money from the IRS While the scams often rely on caller ID spoofing to make their phony messages look authentic, they also can include false names, fake badge numbers, and even a real-sounding “IRS officer” voice recording. Many of these calls or texts use threatening language, telling victims that they will be arrested or deported if they don’t immediately pay a bogus bill. The IRS, and other legitimate organizations, will never contact you via text or email asking for sensitive information.

The agency warns taxpayers to be wary of phishing messages that pretend to come from the IRS. It will never contact you via social media, phone or text about a bill or refund. It will always send you a letter in the mail first.

The IRS is working with state and federal partners to raise awareness about these scams. The agency encourages individuals and tax preparers to report suspected phishing scams through the IRS website. It is also urging small businesses to be especially vigilant as they file their returns.