Tax Scammers Target Immigrants

Read this in: Spanish / Español
Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


Scammers saying they are IRS employees may try to scare immigrants. They may demand immediate payment of tax bills through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The callers may threaten immigrants with deportation, arrest, or suspension of a driver’s or business license to get taxpayers to pay up.  If you receive one of these calls, do not feel pressured to pay a bill over the telephone.    

You should use the same caution if someone shows up at your door. You can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to make sure that the person is legitimate. Taking these precautions is important, especially when someone is clearly trying to scare and coerce you. 

If you owe money to the IRS, the IRS will almost always contact you with a letter first. This letter will explain what is owed and why. A legitimate letter from the IRS will give you information about how to contact the IRS and about your rights as a taxpayer. You normally have the right to challenge the debt if you think it is wrong.

If you are unsure whether you owe the IRS, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and ask. If you owe taxes, you can make arrangements to pay when you call in. 

People with tax troubles may be able to get help from Iowa Legal Aid’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic by calling 1-800-532-1275. Iowa Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm that does not charge for its services. 

Last Review and Update: Aug 06, 2020
Back to top