Protect Yourself From Tax Phishing Scams
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SUSPICIOUS EMAILS ABOUT TAX RETURNS, REFUNDS, AND REBATES:
Recently, identity thieves have sentfraudulent emails to individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These emails will either directly ask the recipient for important personal information (such as social security numbers, account PIN numbers or passwords, or credit card information) or will direct them to an official looking website where they are asked to enter this information. Once criminals obtain this personal information, they then use it to commit identity theft.
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email.They alsodo not request detailed personal information via email or ask for PIN numbers or other secret access information for a taxpayer’s credit card, bank, or other financial accounts.
HOW TO SPOT AN EMAIL SCAM:
The IRS offers the following tips to spot an email scam. Watch out for an email that:
-Requests personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, or bank or credit card account numbers, either in the e-mail itself or on another site to which a link in the e-mail sends the recipient.
-Dangles bait to get the recipient to respond to the e-mail, such as mentioning a tax refund or offering to pay the recipient to participate in an IRS survey.
-Threatens a consequence for not responding to the e-mail, such as blocking access to the recipient’s funds.
-Gets the Internal Revenue Service name wrong.
-Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing (many of the e-mail scams originate overseas and are written by non-native English speakers).
-Uses a really long address in any link contained in the e-mail message or one that does not include the actual IRS Web site address. To see the link address, move the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A PHISHING EMAIL:
If you receive one of these emails, do not respond, click links, or download any attachments. You should forward the emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org . Forwarding instructions are available on the IRS website by CLICKING HERE .
Visit the official IRS website, www.irs.gov , for more information.