IRS Phishing Scams – Protect yourself.
IRS phishing scams are in full swing. Learn how to protect yourself from these phone calls and emails.
Scammers and cyber-thieves continue to use the IRS as bait. The most common tax scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. Scammers use the IRS name, logo, fake employee names and badge numbers to try to steal money and identities from taxpayers.
Taxpayers need to be wary of phone calls or automated messages from someone who claims to be from the IRS. Often, these criminals will say taxpayers owe money and demand payment right away. Other times, scammers will lie to taxpayers and say they’re due a refund. The thieves ask for bank account information over the phone. The IRS warns taxpayers not to fall for these scams.
Below are several tips that will help filers avoid becoming a scam victim.
IRS employees will not:
- Call demanding an immediate payment. - Demand payment without allowing taxpayers to question or appeal the amount owed. - Demand that taxpayers pay their taxes in a specific way, such as with a prepaid debit card. - Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. - Threaten to contact local police or similar agencies to arrest taxpayers for non-payment of taxes. - Threaten legal action, such as a lawsuit.
For those taxpayers who get a phishing email, the IRS offers this advice:
- Don’t reply to the message. - Don’t give out your personal or financial information. - Forward the email to email@example.com. Then delete it. - Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.