IRS warns about scam calls demanding money, threatening arrest

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone via WLS logo
Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Tax season may have ended but those aggressive and threatening IRS scam calls aren't stopping.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tax season may have ended but those aggressive and threatening IRS scam calls aren't stopping.

The IRS has issued an alert saying that summertime is prime time for those scary calls in which fake IRS agents demand money and threaten you with arrest.

That's because many taxpayers may still be waiting for a response from the IRS on extensions and later tax returns.

The calls are relentless. Months after the tax return deadline, people are still getting threatening voicemails.

"As there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment," says a voicemail message.

One ABC7 employee was getting not one, not two, but five calls in one day from the same number, which appears to be coming from Islip, New York. The IRS says the calls are most likely international and using spoofing technology.

"The number to reach us is 631 624," says the voicemail.

ABC7's Jason Knowles called the number back and it was no longer in service.

Because many who filed extensions or mailed paper returns may be awaiting tax returns over the summer, the IRS recently sent out a reminder saying taxpayers need to remain vigilant right now for telephone scams and phishing emails. The IRS will never call you and demand immediate payment. And they'll never ask you to wire money or pay with a gift card.

The Indiana Department of Revenue recently issued a similar warning. If you get a call like this hang up or delete the message.

"We would request that you get back to us so that we could discuss about this case before taking any legal action against you," a voicemail message says.

The Chicago area Better Business Bureau says since March its received 30 reports on tax scam calls.

You can also block calls on most smartphones but that may only be a temporary fix if scammers call from another number.

If you get a call, report it to the IRS at or

Even though the number is usually fake or spoofed, investigators can sometimes use their own technology to track the scammers down with those numbers.