Just a few months before tax season officially starts, the Internal Revenue Service issued a warning about a new phishing scam circulating via email and targeting tax pros.
Identity thieves are sending accountants official looking emails that include an IRS logo and e-services logo along with hyperlinks to a fake registration page that requests usernames and passwords.
If you got this email and provided those details, you should call the IRS e-services desk to reset your account immediately.
If you get such an email, do not respond or click on the links. Instead forward any suspected scam email to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bottom line is the IRS “doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”
As explained on the irs.gov website, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
To see a list of the documented IRS scams, visit the IRS website.
Not sure where to report the various types of illegal tax-related activities? The IRS also has a handy chart that explains “the types of activity and the appropriate forms or other methods to use. ”
You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
Is your business covered for identity theft?