Information provided by BankOnIt
Tax time is stressful enough without having to worry about fake-IRS phishing schemes. Whether you file early or last minute, you are still subject to taxpayer scams.
Taxpayer scams take on many forms:
- You get an email emblazoned with the IRS logo informing you that the department has recalculated your long-awaited refund and they need you to provide more W2 information to claim your money.
- A call or email comes from someone claiming to be an IRS agent that they are about to cancel your Social Security number because of an unpaid tax bill.
- You have a prerecorded voicemail from the IRS urging you to call back immediately or risk arrest or losing your driver's license or immigration status.
- You receive a text with a link to check your tax refund status or see your tax transcript.
Some of these solicitations might even reference real IRS forms (like W2s) and/or tax-related organizations (like the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel or FDIC). And scamsters use the same or similar means to try and trick tax preparers, as well.
Don't be a Victim
- Be wary of anyone claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS will always contact you via postal mail before making a call about unpaid taxes.
- Scammers can spoof your caller ID and change the name that appears on your phone, so don’t trust the caller just because it shows up as “IRS.”
The IRS never initiates contact by email, text message or social media to request PINs, passwords or other personal information.
- Even if you get a letter in the mail, it's a good idea to double-check with the IRS that it is legitamite. Go to IRS.gov and search for the letter, notice, or form number. There, you should find additional information about the notice or letter, including instructions on how to respond if the correspondence is legitimate.
- The IRS never demands payment via a specific method (such as debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers), and it will never demand payment without offering you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. If you think you owe back taxes, contact the IRS directly from IRS.gov.
Report the Scam
If you are contacted by a cybercriminal impersonating the IRS, take these steps:
- Don’t reply to an email or text message.
- Don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
- Forward any fake emails or texts or report any fraudulent phone calls or voicemails to email@example.com.
- Delete the malicious message.
Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. Security Bank, Member FDIC.
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