Can you spot a fake IRS employee? Many people tremble at the thought of hearing from the IRS. That fear can make them vulnerable to scams that seek to steal their assets or identities. To combat IRS impersonator scams, the IRS has created a fact sheet explaining how it contacts taxpayers. The first contact is not by text or email. Usually, the first contact is by mail (though under some conditions, the IRS may make contact by phone). IRS employees aren’t permitted to be aggressive or threatening or demand payments by methods such as gift cards or prepaid cards. For more ways to spot an IRS scammer and how to report suspicious contacts: