Tax Tip Tuesday: IRS Warns of New Surge of E-mail Scams

February 23, 2016

Tax scams are up 400-percent this tax season.


The IRS is again warning that scammers are using email schemes to steal money. The emails are designed to look like they are coming from the IRS or others in the tax industry, such as tax software companies. These emails ask for personal information and/or details on refunds, filing statuses, ordering transcripts, and PIN information.


If you click on a link in the email, you are taken to a website that is made to look official and may mimic the IRS’s website IRS.gov. The site will ask for personal information including Social Security numbers. Also, there may be malware on these sites, which infects the computer and gives criminals access to the files on the computer. They can even track keystrokes that you make.


Do not click on these links. The IRS urges instead that people forward these emails to phishing@irs.gov.


Recent email examples the IRS has seen include the following subject lines and underlying text referencing:

  • Numerous variations about people's tax refund

  • Update your filing details, which can include references to W-2

  • Confirm your personal information

  • Get my IP Pin

  • Get my E-file Pin

  • Order a transcript

  • Complete your tax return information


It is important to remember that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

 

If you ever have a question about an email or piece of regular mail that you received, don’t hesitate to contact us at 515.225.3141 or email cbrand@ryungivens.com.

 

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.

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