IRS Phone Scam Resurgence

November 6, 2013

The IRS released information of a new phone scam, which over the years has gotten more sophisticated.  The IRS never ever emails taxpayers and, with rare exceptions, does not phone taxpayers. It’s astounding how many people fall for these tactics and end up with identity theft or a cleaned out bank account. If you have an IRS issue, you will get a letter. If you have a big IRS issue, you may get a personal visit. If in doubt, ask for the alleged agent’s name and IRS ID number, contact telephone number and what division within the IRS he/she is calling from. Advise that individual that you have a tax advisor who will be addressing the matter. If the “agent” continues to ask probing questions, hang up.

For emails, it is important to see where a response is actually going (i.e., the reply-to address). Odds are it’s a cryptic address. Be advised that it’s not just the IRS’ name that criminals are masquerading under; it’s banks, credit card companies, payment services and even mail delivery services. If you believe the email is fraudulent, forward the intact email to the legitimate company’s phishing/spoof email contact. These days, all companies have them. Above all, be safe – do not click on any links you do not absolutely know.  If you think there might be a legitimate problem, call the institution directly using a phone number you already have for them, not the number shown in the suspect email.

Click here to read the full IRS press release detailing the phone scam and their instructions for addressing the issue.

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