Fake Government Agencies
IRS Scams - Fake Refund Phone Call from the Internal Revenue Service
"Your Treasury Department FCU account is expired, for renewal please call us toll free 818-462-5049"
Have you received a phone call from the IRS, telling you that "Your
Treasury Department FCU account is expired"; then instructing you to "access
the form for your tax refund, click here"?
It is a scam. The IRS will never, never phone you unless you first
contact them. They WILL NOT EVER phone you to tell you you owe money or
are due to receive a refund; or for any other reason. Count on it.
Sample Scam FBI Phone Call:
April 10, 2008, CFR received the following email reporting the scam:
I heard on the radio a scam for identity theft right
around the tax season. The idea of the scam was that you would get a random
cell phone call from our governments "Treasury Department" with some random
inquiry. They trick you into giving them your SSN and other personal
information...etc.. Of course our Treasury Department only communicates to
taxpayers via mail.
Well, low and behold, today I receive a text
message on my call phone from "Marketing@massiveinc.com"
with the message: Your Treasury Department FCU account is expired, for
renewal please call us toll free 818-462-5049. Of course, I am not calling
back but I wanted to pass on this information to those that may not be aware
of this scam. If you know how I can report this to any higher authority
please let me know.
Clearly, this phone call and it's
associated website is criminal activity intended to steal your money or identity!
If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent
a government agency, take down their information, including
the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or
financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account
number, passport number, etc.
Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the agency they
claim to represent and call them. Tell them what happened and ask if it could
have come from their agency.
While we don't want to encourage people to ignore correspondence from legal
government agencies, it is a safe bet that NO U.S. government agency will make
any first contact with you by phone. Certainly not the FBI or IRS.
offers this advice:
If you receive an unsolicited e-mail or phone call purporting to be from the IRS, take the
Do not open any attachments to the e-mail, in case they contain
malicious code that will infect your computer.
Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine whether the IRS is trying
to contact you about a tax refund.
And please let us know about any
suspicious calls or phone calls you receive. We look for patterns so that we
can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!
How to Report a Tax Refund Scam Phone Call:
If you receive a suspicious e-mail that claims to come from the IRS,
- Forward the information to the IRS
- Send a copy to ConsumerFraudReporting.org (via
the feedback form)
- Please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at
Follow instructions in the link below for sending the bogus e-mail to ensure
that it retains critical elements found in the original e-mail. The IRS can use
the information, URLs and links in the suspicious e-mails you send to trace the
hosting Web site and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites.
Unfortunately, due to the expected volume, the IRS will not be able to
acknowledge receipt or respond to you.
In the United States, you may also contact:
U.S. Secret Service
Phone: (202) 435–5850
Fax: (202) 435–5031
Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20223
Frequently Asked Questions - 1.13
IRS Procedures: Reporting Fraud
How to Report Abusive Tax Promotions and/or Promoters:
referral form which documents the information necessary to report an
abusive tax avoidance scheme. The form can be mailed or faxed to the IRS address
and fax number on the form.
How to Report Abusive CPAs, Attorneys or Enrolled Agents:
Report suspicious actions by tax professionals to the
email address of the IRS Office of
Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens
Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.
For a comprehensive list
of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.