If you have an email account, you know about all the scam emails you get. Scammers are getting braver and using the IRS name in their new tactics.
IRS Warning Taxpayers About New Email Scams
The IRS has begun warning taxpayers that it is seeing a surge in tax scam emails. Many of the emails even have the hubris to use the IRS name! Brave souls, indeed. Regardless, the scams seem to fall in the area of identity theft through phishing tactics.
First and foremost, you should understand that the IRS does NOT send emails to taxpayers. Never, never, never! If you get an email from the IRS, it is a fake. Unconditionally! Do not respond to it under any circumstances. Do not click links in the body of the email. Take one action and one action only – delete it!
Since the turn of the year, the IRS has identified 99 new email scams targeted at taxpayers. All of the scams are aimed at bilking you out of your private information. Most try to do this by claiming your must provide information or your will not receive your tax refund. In some cases, the fake emails threaten you with an audit. Again, this is all false information.
Many people fall victim to the IRS scam emails because they click through to the site linked in the email. There, they find a site that appears for all intensive purposes to be the one published by the IRS. Make no mistake – this means nothing. Anyone can copy and republish a site. Yes, even the site of the IRS. It is pretty scary when you think about it. Best Buy, in fact, had major problems with this for some time.
So, where are these scammers? It should come as no surprise that few in the boundaries of the United States would have the nerve to try this. Instead, the IRS has tracked most of the scamming emails to other countries, but not necessarily the usual suspects. The countries include England, Italy, Japan, Germany, Australia and Singapore. Usual suspects include China, Aruba, Mexico, Indonesia and Argentina. Surprisingly, only a few have originated from the scam mecca of Nigeria.
The best way to beat scammers is to know the facts. The IRS does not communicate in any way with taxpayers by email. If you get an email purportedly from the IRS, it is a fake. If you have a nagging doubt, call the agency to find out if anything is up. Otherwise, delete that email!