Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site. It aims to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.
If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to keep in mind the IRS does not use email to ask for personal or financial information. The IRS does not send emails stating you are being electronically audited or that you are getting a refund. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
If you discover a website that claims to be the IRS, but does not begin with "www.irs.gov" forward that link to the IRS at email@example.com.
IRS impersonation schemes flourish during tax season and can take the form of emails, websites, even tweets. Scammers may also use a phone or fax to reach their victims.
If you receive a paper letter or notice via mail claiming to be the IRS, but you suspect it is a scam, check the IRS phishing page at www.irs.gov/phishing to determine if it is a legitimate IRS notice or letter. If it is a legitimate IRS notice or letter, reply if needed.
Also, don't forget that we only have 13 days until your federal individual tax return is due.
Disclaimer: The items included in the Tax Tip Tuesday Video Blog are informational only and are not meant as tax advice. Consult with your tax advisor to determine how any item applies to your situation. IRS Circular 230 disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advise contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.