Skip headers Skip navigation
Print DTF lockup

Report an impersonation scam

Scammers renew scheme targeting payroll and HR professionals

Once again, cybercriminals, posing as company executives, are emailing payroll and HR professionals to request lists of employees and their personal information. For information about the details contained in these emails, visit the IRS at IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource Departments.   

If you are an employer who has been a victim of this scam and, in response, released any payroll data, such as W-2 information and Social Security numbers, see Guidance for employers affected by a W-2 phishing scam for instructions.

How to recognize a scam

Scammers will usually use scare tactics to get you to share your personal and financial information with them. Scammers may:

  • demand immediate payment for a tax debt;
  • threaten you over the phone, possibly with police action or deportation; or
  • demand you pay in a specific way, such as through prepaid debit cards or in person.

Tax Department employees will never:

  • threaten you for failure to pay a tax debt;
  • refuse your request to call us back using a number found on our website;
  • use email, text messages, or social media to request or discuss your personal or tax information; or
  • demand you pay taxes without the option to question or appeal the amount we say you owe.

What you should report

Please report any suspicious contact you have with individuals claiming to be Tax Department or IRS employees. You may wish to report:

  • suspicious phone calls and voicemails;
  • text messages and emails requesting personal information; or
  • interactions with Tax Department or IRS employees who do not seem legitimate.

How to report an impersonation scam

You can report possible impersonation scams to the Tax Department and IRS online or by phone. We will review your complaint promptly and, where appropriate, take corrective action. Please refer to the table below to learn how and to whom you should report your concerns.

If a caller states they are from report your concerns
the IRS or the US Treasury and you do not believe the caller is a legitimate employee,


the New York State Tax Department and you do not believe the caller is a legitimate employee,

Note: If you are contacted by phone, note the date, time, and telephone number of the call, and save any voicemails from the caller.

the New York State Treasury and you do not believe the caller is a legitimate employee,

by phone at 1-800-771-7755.

How you can protect yourself

  • If you receive a threatening phone call regarding your taxes, hang up immediately.
  • Don’t agree to meet anyone claiming to be a tax representative in person to pay a debt.
  • Don’t provide personal information in an email, or click on any suspicious links in an email asking for personal information.
  • If you receive a suspicious phone call about your taxes, record the caller’s name, phone number, and the information displayed on the caller ID (if available). If the caller claims to be a Tax Department or IRS employee, ask for the employee’s ID or badge number to assist us in our investigation.

More scam resources


Updated: February 02, 2017