With tax season approaching, IRS scammers are using a variety of methods to contact you. In fact, they are contacting people through regular mail, telephone calls, emails, or even text messages. Keep in mind that the IRS will not contact you via text messaging or initiate contact with you by email or social media.
Protecting Yourself from Scams:
According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS generally contacts people by mail about unpaid taxes. The IRS will also never ask you to pay a tax debt by placing money on a gift card.
Mail Scam Example
The IRS said that fraudsters may contact you to verify or check on your EFIN acceptance letter. You may also be asked to email the scammer a copy of the EFIN acceptance letter and provide a phone number to call for questions. Do not send this information. If you hear from individuals posing as the IRS should contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.tigta.gov to file a complaint. Also, if you were already tricked into disclosing an acceptance letter, please contact the IRS’s e-Services help desk immediately.
Text Message Scam Example
An new text message scam is currently circulating, so be aware that the following message is a scam:
“You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment … .”
The text will include a link to a fake web address. This web address looks like IRS.gov, but is not the official website. The IRS and state agencies have not sent text messages to taxpayers asking for bank account information. If you receive this message, take a screenshot of the text message and attach it in an email to [email protected]. Also, include the date, time, and time zone that the message was received. If applicable, also send the number that appeared on Caller ID and the number that received the text message.
Email Scam Example
If you receive an email message asking you to open documents, be aware that this could be a scam. The IRS will not send you a sensitive document. Do not open the attachment if received. The malware contained in the fraudulent tax transcripts will be labeled “Tax Account Transcript” or something similar with a subject line that uses “tax transcript” or something similar. Notify your company if you receive this email at a work email address. If you receive it on your personal computer, immediately delete or forward the fake email to [email protected].
Need More Information?
IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/e-services
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2020-01.htm
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