Every year the IRS receives thousands of reports from taxpayers who receive emails out-of-the blue claiming to be from the IRS. Scammers use the IRS name or logo to make the message appear authentic so you will respond to it, but in reality, it is a scam known as “phishing”. “Phishing” is attempting to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information. With the information you provided, the criminals then commit identity theft or steal your money.
For anyone who receives an email claiming to be from the IRS or directing you to and IRS site:
- Do not reply to the message;
- Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain malicious code that will infect your computer; and
- Do not click on any links in a suspicious email or phishing website and do not enter confidential information. Visit the IRS website and click on ‘Identity Theft’ at the bottom of the page.
Five other important key points the IRS wants to point out about phishing scams:
- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or social media channels to request personal or financial information;
- The IRS never asks for detailed personal financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts;
- The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Do not be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or anything other than .gov. If you discover a website that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus, do not provide any personal information on their site and report it to the IRS;
- 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 the IRS has a legitimate need to contact you. Report any bogus correspondence. Forward a suspicious email to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- You can help the IRS and other law enforcement agencies shut down these schemes. Visit the IRS.gov website to get details on how to report scams and helpful resources if you are the victim of a scam. Click on “Reporting Phishing” at the bottom of the page.
To discover how we can help you, please give us a call at 401-254-0151. We look forward to hearing form you.