the irs won’t text you, and other tax scams to avoid

Kim Britten/

Every year IRS tax scams are a big problem. The Internal Revenue Service will never text you. Be careful with calls, texts, or emails, and report anything suspicious.

It’s time to round up your 1099, W2s, or other forms to see if you owe Uncle Sam or are getting a big fat refund. That also means tax scams will be everywhere. The IRS will never text you, and even though criminals will try sending texts, emails, and more, don’t fall for it.

Unfortunately, every year, thousands of people fall victim to awful scammers. And while it’s a year-round problem, we see a lot during the holidays, and then it peaks around tax season.

No one wants to deal with the Internal Revenue Service, but don’t let that fear get you into trouble with a scammer. Here are a few of the most common IRS tax scams, tips to help you spot one, and more details to help you stay safe.

The IRS Won’t Text You

the irs won’t text you, and other tax scams to avoid

panuwat phimpha/

One of the most common scams is an IRS text message. Text scams are an ongoing problem that comes in various forms. And while the IRS has an exhaustive list of scams and fraud to avoid, texts are a big one.

In late 2022, the IRS issued a warning to stay vigilant when it comes to text messages and never click on suspicious links. According to the Internal Revenue Service, “new scam texts ask taxpayers to click a link or call a telephone number where criminals will collect their personal or financial information. The IRS does not send emails or text messages asking for personal or financial information or account numbers.”

Any text message mentioning taxes and the IRS is a scam. These are known as smishing or phishing scams, where criminals send a text and try to get you to click a link or divulge important personal information.

If you get an IRS text message, do not click any links, call any phone numbers, and never share personal or financial information. I recommend instantly blocking the number (although that rarely helps these days) and deleting the text.

How the IRS Will Contact You

the irs won’t text you, and other tax scams to avoid

Pavel Kapysh/

Again, the IRS will never text you, ever. If you’re wondering, “how will the IRS contact me?” we have you covered. According to the official website, almost all contact with taxpayers goes through the regular U.S. Postal Service mail delivery system. You’ll get a letter, not a text or call.

It’s worth noting that while most IRS contact is through the mail, there are some instances where they’ll call you, come to your home, or visit a business. These situations are rare and typically happen when you have a largely overdue tax bill, delinquent tax returns, unfiled returns, or delinquent employment payments.

Occasionally, the IRS will visit a business during an audit or investigation. However, it’s important to note that in almost every scenario, you’ll get a letter in the mail first.

Be Careful with Calls, Emails, and More

the irs won’t text you, and other tax scams to avoid


More people are hesitant when it comes to shady text messages, which is why scammers are starting to get more sophisticated. They’ll try phone calls and emails or even create a fake website that looks highly similar to the IRS government website to trick victims.

Now that you know how the IRS will contact you, pay attention to other methods. If you’re getting phone calls or emails, threatening or not, they’re likely a scam. This is especially true if you’ve yet to receive anything in the mail. The IRS will issue countless letters first before ever resorting to phone calls.

And while it sounds harsh, use some common sense. Many scammers will claim to work for the IRS and say you owe back taxes, misfiled, or have a balance and owe a penalty fee. While this happens, you’ll get notified by mail.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to work for the IRS and wants you to pay in gift cards, that should be an obvious red flag. What is the government going to do with a gift card? Nothing, that’s a scam!

Stay away from IRS phone calls, emails, voicemails, reaching out on social media, or anyone asking for financial information over the phone. You should never give out your debit card, credit card, or banking details. The IRS won’t ask for it on the phone, either.

Even if you’re getting threatening calls or voicemails saying you’ll go to jail, lose your driver’s license, or lose your house. The IRS must follow the taxpayer bill of rights, allowing you to appeal any case. You’ll never randomly get a threatening phone call or text. 

You’ll also want to be mindful of “tax charity” phone calls, where someone claims if you donate to a good cause, it’ll be a write-off. These do exist, but random calls about them are a red flag. Last but not least, if you’ve already fallen victim to a scam, you’ll likely be a target for “recovery scams” where someone claims they can help.

If you’ve been scammed, reach out to a physical business where you live, and don’t deal with a stranger over the phone.

How to Report IRS Scams

the irs won’t text you, and other tax scams to avoid

Tero Vesalainen/

In the unfortunate event that you get scammed, or even if you didn’t fall for it, you should report all IRS scams to the proper channels. There are several ways to do this, depending on the situation.

For one, report all tax scams to the IRS and file a complaint with the FTC. You can forward emails or send suspicious phone numbers to an IRS email, which is And while most text and call scams spoof numbers, it’s still worth submitting them to the proper authorities. Then, submit information to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on its website or by calling TIGTA at 1-800-366-4484. 

In closing, we wanted to mention that we only touched on a few of the many different situations, scams, and fraud that takes place these days. Thankfully, the IRS puts together a “dirty dozen” report on tax scams each year, and you can learn more from those reports.

Use caution and common sense, never trust strangers, and stay safe out there.


TikTok EU ban on the table if social network doesn’t comply with new laws

TikTok is one of the most popular social networks out there. But TikTok is also a cause of concern for western governments that worry about the company’s ties to the Chinese government. TikTok can’t run on most devices the US government issues, and there has been talk of a ...

View more: TikTok EU ban on the table if social network doesn’t comply with new laws

Don’t Buy a Foldable Until Samsung Brings This Prototype to Life

Samsung Display via The Verge The world of foldable phones is surprisingly stagnant. The Galaxy Z Fold gets a tiny little upgrade every year, and rival phone brands loosely copy Samsung’s homework. But a new Samsung Display prototype called the “Flex In & Out” could turn this narrative on ...

View more: Don’t Buy a Foldable Until Samsung Brings This Prototype to Life

Best free sports streaming apps in 2023

Cutting the cord on cable television is something tons of people have done over the past five years. But that hasn’t proven to be the smartest way to continue to watch sports. Whether it comes from premium sports website subscriptions to keep tabs on your favorite players, or even fantasy ...

View more: Best free sports streaming apps in 2023

Avengers 5 might have Ant-Man in it, Quantumania star teases

The first MCU Phase 5 movie will be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third installment in the Ant-Man franchise and a film with much higher stakes than the previous episodes. The sequel will deliver the MCU’s first Kang (Jonathan Majors) villain after we met a somewhat good He Who ...

View more: Avengers 5 might have Ant-Man in it, Quantumania star teases

Sharing a Netflix Account? Get Ready to Pay For It

DANIEL CONSTANTE/ Netflix is about to get serious in its efforts to eliminate freeloaders. If you share a Netflix account with family or friends outside your household, get ready to pay for it. A new “paid sharing” system could roll out starting next month, and you’ll have to pay a ...

View more: Sharing a Netflix Account? Get Ready to Pay For It

‘7 Wonders’ Board Game Gets a New ‘Edifice’ Expansion

Asmodee and Repos Production Board game lovers have a wonderful reason to celebrate today. Board game makers Asmodee and Repos Production announced their latest collaboration: 7 Wonders Edifice, an expansion to the popular board game 7 Wonders. The game launches on February 24th for $29.99. 7 Wonders: Edifice adds ...

View more: ‘7 Wonders’ Board Game Gets a New ‘Edifice’ Expansion

T-Mobile Kicks Off 2023 With Another Data Breach

r.classen / In a press release, T-Mobile confirms that it detected a data breach in its systems on January 5th. A “bad actor” managed to steal personal information (but not financial data) from around 37 million customers. This is the eighth T-Mobile data breach since 2018. The hacker ...

View more: T-Mobile Kicks Off 2023 With Another Data Breach

Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Apple has filed an appeal against the UK’s competition watchdog regarding its dominance of mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market, reports Reuters. The Competition and Markets Authority started investigating this dominance by the Cupertino firm and Google. Lawyers representing Apple believe the investigation should be reviewed as CMA ...

View more: Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Galaxy S23 Ultra release date and specs leak finally reveals everything about the new model

WhatsApp for iOS rolling out the ability to create a chat with yourself

Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Deadpool 3 and Secret Wars to feature Fox’s X-Men, according to Marvel insider

Report: OLED iPad Pro still on track for 2024 release, 2026 for MacBook Pro

How to negotiate over practically anything

HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

What “choice” means for millions of women post-Roe

Singapore FinTech firm Pilon secures $5.2M seed funding led by Wavemaker Partners

Capital Square Partners and Basil Technology team up for $700M tech fund in Asia

This feel-good movie about man’s best friend is dominating Netflix


Top Car News Car News