New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) is warning Queens taxpayers of potential tax-related scams that target an individual’s personal identity through fraudulent e-mails. Padavan’s warning is in conjunction with warnings posted by the Internal Revenue Service.
“As we are rapidly approaching the April 15th deadline for federal and state tax returns, the risk for scams and schemes targeting a taxpayers filing for a refund increase significantly,” Padavan stressed. “The best way for anyone to protect themselves, their identity and refund is to be aware of any potential scam and work with certified, reputable tax professionals.”
Recently, the IRS issued numerous consumer warnings regarding the fraudulent use of the IRS name and logo by scammers in order to gain access to an individual’s identity and in some instance steal assets. In most instances, the scammers use phony e-mails allegedly from the IRS and tell the victim they are due for a tax refund. The use of the Internet, especially e-mail, for identity theft is known as phishing.
The IRS does not initiate communication with a taxpayer through e-mail or ask for detailed personal information through e-mail. The IRS urges anyone who receives a suspicious e-mail claiming to be from them to forward that e-mail to a new IRS mailbox address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Forwarding the fraudlent e-mails to the IRS allows them to use the information in the e-mail to trace the host and quickly shut down the scheme.
“Scammers are constantly adapting and refining their methods to steal an individual’s identity,” Padavan said. “If you happen to receive a suspicious e-mail from the IRS, I urge you not to give any personal information and send it to the IRS immediately.”
For more information, individuals can visit the Internal Revenue Service website at www.irs.gov.