Scams

Overview

Scammers sometimes pretend to be government officials to get you to send them money or access your information.

The main types of scams are through:

  • Email
  • Mail
  • Phone
  • Websites

Typically, we contact you by mail several times prior to contacting you directly by phone or in person.

Do not reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.

Report a scam

Phone
(800) 852-5711
Weekdays, 7 AM to 5 PM
ftbtaxscams@ftb.ca.gov

Types of scams

You should be suspicious of anyone that contacts you and:

  • Asks for passwords for your credit cards, bank account, bank debit card, MyFTB account, email account, personal or business accounts.
  • Threatens to contact law-enforcement to have you arrested if a tax debt is not paid.
  • Demands payment by third-party issued or pre-paid debit cards. We do not accept these forms of payment.
  • Claims that there is a problem with your account. Our agents already have access to your account information and will explain the nature and details of your tax or nontax debt.

Email

If you receive a suspicious email that claims to be from us requesting personal information, it may be a phishing email. Phishing emails look legitimate because they often use real logos and phone numbers. Delete it from your inbox and your trash folder.

Commonly requested information in a phishing email may include:

  • Social security number
  • Username
  • Password
  • Credit card or bank account numbers
  • Wage withholding
  • Employee payroll

The email may also direct you to a fake website. Once you enter your personal information, it can be used to steal your identity.

Mail

If you receive a letter by mail that claims to be from us requesting personal information, it may be a scam. View our letters page to verify the notices we send. If you would like additional verification, contact us.

Phone

Phone scams are the most common method used to scam taxpayers. Phone scams involve a caller claiming to be associated with us.

The caller may:

  • Say you owe taxes
  • Demand payment and ask for the payment to be made through a pre-paid card, even staying on the phone with you while you go to purchase one
  • Threaten to contact law-enforcement to:
    • Have you arrested
    • Suspend your license
    • Have you deported