Is the IRS trying to scam you? No. But there are many people pretending to be the IRS, and yes, they are trying to scam you. We have written about this topic before, but over the past few weeks, there have been several fraudulent emails circulating that claim to be from the IRS. These are called phishing scams, and in this case it is when you get an email that looks like it is from the IRS but is actually a scam intended to get your personal information. We are particularly concerned because some of our clients and even some people in our office have recently received false emails. So we thought we would cover this again to make sure our readers do not fall victim to any of these scams.
Generally, what happens with one of these email scams is you receive an email that looks like it is from the IRS. It has the IRS logo and claims that you have or might have a refund due to you. It will ask you to click on a link to claim this refund. If you click on the link, it will take you to a page that asks you to put in your personal information such as your Social Security number for verification purposes or your bank information so your refund can be direct deposited. This is a very serious scam and there are thousands of them out there. Also, these emails might also have dangerous viruses that can ruin your computer.
Here is what you need to know–The IRS NEVER sends emails. Nope, not ever. On the IRS website it states: “The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email.” So the IRS NEVER contacts anyone by email. ( I hope you are noticing all these bolded “NEVERs”) If you get an email the IRS asks you to do the following:
- Do not reply
- Do not open any attachments
- Do not click on any links
- Forward the email as is to firstname.lastname@example.org
- After you forward the email delete it
These are instruction directly from the IRS. Also if you receive an unsolicited fax from the IRS, it should also be reported. For more information about IRS phishing scams go to www.irs.gov and click on “report phishing.”
When it comes to the IRS you have to be in the know. Check out our website www.avoidbeingaudited.com. We have tons of free–easy to understand–information to help you understand how the IRS works and how to save money on your taxes.