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Tax Scams

Information on different types of scams

Each year, thousands of Hoosiers fall victim to tax scams that end up costing people millions. Scammers often use scare tactics to pressure victims into sharing or giving access to personal information or even making payments. If you ever receive a communication from an organization saying they are from a revenue-related agency or a company hired by a revenue agency, you have the right to ask questions and refuse to meet their requests.

So what do you do? An easy way to not fall prey to these scammers it to learn how these criminal operate. We’ve provided information below on different types of scams to help you.

Remember DOR cannot:

  • Call customers to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the taxpayer will receive a bill in the mail if taxes are owed.
  • Demand taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. Taxpayers should also be advised of Indiana’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have the taxpayer arrested for refusing payment.
  • Threaten to revoke a taxpayer’s driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

Many email scams target taxpayers by impersonating DOR, the IRS, or "local revenue service" organizations. If you receive an email, remember, not to click on any links or open attachments coming from an unknown sender. Contact DOR or the IRS.

Several warning signs that may indicate a phishing scam include:

  • Asking customers to confirm personal and/or financial information.
  • Including links to questionable or suspicious websites, email addresses or attachments. Never click or open anything that does not come from a trusted source.
  • Poorly written or communicated messages.
  • Stating immediate action must be taken to avoid consequences.
  • Claiming to be from DOR or the IRS, asking for personal information when neither agency will ever ask for personal information via email.

Email scam examples: (will work to get photos)
If you are unsure if an email came from the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), contact DOR’s Customer Service Department at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST. Our team can help you determine if the information is real or fake

Phone scams often threaten taxpayers so they will pay money toward fake tax bills. Phone scams often ramp up during tax time but can be sent all year. 
Remember, criminals can work around caller ID to appear to be from anywhere in the country, including from a DOR or IRS office. If you’re questioning if the call received is real, hang up and call the agency they claim to be from directly. Below are a few tips to help you determine if a call is a scammer:

Remember DOR and the IRS will never:

  • Call or text demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, you will receive a bill in the mail if taxes are owed.
  • Demand you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have you arrested for refusing payment or not filing.
  • Threaten to revoke your driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status.
  • Call about an unexpected refund.
  • Use text messaging to request any information from you.

If you think you are the target of a phone or text messaging scam:

  • Do not give the caller any personal information and hang up immediately.
  • Do not respond or click on any suspicious links in the text message and delete.
  • Call TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or report online here.
  • Report to DOR by email at investigations@dor.in.gov or by phone at 317-232-2240.

Phone Scam Examples:

  • An automated phone message was being sent to customers claiming they will be taken into custody by local law enforcement as they have several serious allegations pending. These calls often come from a phone number in New Jersey, and asked the customer to call the scammers back at a specific phone number. 
  • In early 2018, DOR received reports on a scam involving identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns with refunds going to the taxpayer’s bank account. The scammer then called the victims to convince them to send the refund money to the scammer.

If you are unsure if a call or text message came  from the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), contact DOR’s Customer Service Department at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST. Our team can help you determine if the information is real or fake.

If you feel you are being targeted with a tax scam, follow these guidelines:

  1. Do not give the caller any personal information.
  2. If you’ve received an email, do not click on any links or attachments unless you know it is from a legitimate source; if you’re not sure, don’t click.
  3. When in doubt, call the IRS or DOR to confirm any communications.
  4. Report any scams to the IRS or DOR.

To confirm any claims made by potential scammer contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or DOR Customer Service at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST.
 

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