IRS Warns Taxpayers of New E-mail Scams

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

The IRS continues to issue warnings on new e-mail scams. New e-mail scams appear almost monthly and the IRS wants taxpayers to know that these e-mails are scams and what taxpayers should do (and not do) if they receive a questionable IRS e-mail.

First, taxpayers should know that the IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Further, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

Second, the IRS urged people not to click the link in the e-mail or open the attachment. Recipients of questionable e-mails claiming to come from the IRS should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the e-mails. Instead, they should forward the e-mails to phishing@irs.gov (follow the instructions). E-mail scams that involve tricking victims into revealing private personal and financial information over the Internet are known in practice as ?phishing? for information.

The IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration work with the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and various Internet service providers and international CERT teams to have the phishing sites taken offline as soon as they are reported. Since the establishment of the mail box last year, the IRS has received more than 17,700 e-mails from taxpayers reporting more than 240 separate phishing incidents. To date, investigations by TIGTA have identified host sites in at least 27 different countries, as well as in the United States.

There are many scams detailed on the IRS website, www.irs.gov/Warning on Scam E-mails. Taxpayers should take a look at this website for further details and remember if you receive a questionable e-mail claiming to be from the IRS, do not open it, instead follow the instructions noted above to report and verify it.