IRS Warns of Scams
ST LOUIS – The IRS is warning taxpayers that scam e-mails using the IRS name and logo are circulating again.
“Now that the filing season is over, taxpayers are getting suspicious e-mails, phone calls or faxes claiming to be from the IRS,” said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. “Many of these scams fraudulently use the IRS name or logo as a lure to make the communication appear more authentic.”
Devine said some scam e-mails are easy to spot because they have misspelled words, use incorrect grammar or odd phrasing, but many e-mail scams are fairly sophisticated and hard to detect.
“The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail to taxpayers and never asks for personal and financial information such as PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret information for financial accounts,” said Devine. “If the IRS has a question, the first contact a taxpayer gets will be a letter or notice that arrives through the mail.”
The IRS says there are signs to watch for, such as requests for personal and/or financial information; threats for not responding, such as an audit; any link that does not include the real IRS Web address - www.irs.gov.
Devine said if you receive a phone call, fax or letter in the mail from an individual claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if it is legitimate.
You can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized by reporting any bogus correspondence or forwarding suspicious/scam e-mail to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details on how to report specific types of scams and what to do if you’ve been victimized are available at www.irs.gov. Click on the "Reporting Phishing" link on the home page, near the bottom.