Beware of IRS phone scammers

New take on old scam

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Scammers posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents are continuing to call people and demand money. 

A local woman told News4Jax Tuesday that she received a phone call from someone who told her that her home would be monitored until she paid money to the IRS.

"Obviously, it was a scam because it said there was a warrant out for my arrest from the IRS and that my house was under surveillance," Mary Alice Petty said.

Petty said the call came from a number that she had never seen. But when she heard the threats in a voicemail, she said she knew the scammer was looking for an easy target.

"The IRS has issued an arrest warrant on you. Right now, you and your physical property both are being monitored. And it's very important that I do hear back from you as soon as possible before we proceed further in any legal matter," the voicemail said.

Petty said she knew the IRS wouldn't call her, but she wanted to warn unsuspecting people who could fall victim. 

When News4Jax called back the phone to confront the person on the other line, the 206 number did not work.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the IRS will never call demanding immediate payments without first mailing a bill.

The IRS will not ask for credit or debit card information on the phone, Smith said, nor threaten to send local enforcement officers to arrest people.

"I can see someone that is elderly or unsuspecting be very upset about this and take action. And I don't know what would have happened if I would have made the phone call, but I assume it would probably be leading into somehow getting my social security number," Petty said.

By registering home phone and cellphone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, people can avoid phone scam, the federal government said. To register a phone number, visit

Anyone who does receive an IRS scam call is asked to record the phone number and send the IRS an email at to report the incident.