Tax season can be a stressful time for many people, especially if you owe money to the IRS. However, make sure you use the proper channels to make your payments. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office sees an increase in these scams during tax season.

The IRS scam is when a caller pretends to be the IRS and demands payment over the phone. The scammer tells their potential victim that they owe taxes to the IRS and that there is an active warrant out for their arrest. They instruct citizens to purchase pre-paid cards and provide the numbers on them.

Here are some common ways to decipher if you are being scammed:

  • The IRS always contacts taxpayers by mail initially, not via phone or email. If you get an email asking for personal information, do not reply to it, open any attachments, or click on any links. The IRS’s official website is, so beware of other versions of it, like or
  • The IRS does not leave pre-recorded voicemails that are threatening or urgent. If they say you will be arrested, deported, or that your driver’s license will be revoked unless you pay them money immediately, this is a good sign it is a scam.
  • The IRS will never contact you through text messages or social media.
  • If they ask you for a credit card, gift card, pre-paid debit card, iTunes card, or wire transfer, do not give it to them. The IRS does not use these payment methods; they mail paper bills to you.

A good rule of thumb is to never give out personal information over the phone unless you know exactly who they are, like a family member, spouse, or close friend. If you think you owe money to the IRS, you can visit:

If you determine the communication is a scam, you can report them to the sheriff’s office by calling us at 727-582-6200.  


Posted by Monday, March 2, 2020 3:33:00 PM

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info