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IRS Tax Scams

There has been an increase in reported tax fraud phishing attempts targeting tax payers, human resources and finance employees. Email scammers have been observed citing tax fraud to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link. Taxpayers should be suspicious of unsolicited emails or phone calls during tax season. HR and Payroll should verify legitimacy of any request for employee information.

Avoid Being Scammed!

The IRS Will Never:
o Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed several bills.
o Call or email you to verify your identity by asking for personal and financial information.
o Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
o Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
o Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone or e-mail.
o Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Here’s what you can do:
o Never disclose personal, bank, or credit card information by email.
o If a phone call or email demands urgent and immediate action, do not provide any information and do not respond.
o Take time to research and verify their claims with government agencies independently.
o Contact the IRS or government agency using official and public information.
o Report the scam to the IRS or the FTC.

Quick things to Know:

Thieves or criminals take advantage of knowledge gained from research and earlier attempts to masquerade as a legitimate source, including the look and feel of authentic communications. Targeted messages can use familiar names and appearance to trick people into believing they are authentic. Note that:

o The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
o This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
o The official website of the IRS is the ‘dot’ between ‘irs’ and ‘gov’ and nothing after. Spoofers may use something similar but not exactly the same.
o This year, some spoof campaigns are targeting HR and Payroll offices by using emails masquerading as executives, requesting W-2 and other information on employees



More Info

Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts Consumer Alert: Scammers
Change Tactics, Once Again
CUNY Advisory: Phishing Scheme
Involving IRS Tax Forms
IRS Alerts Payroll and HR
Professionals to Phishing
Scheme Involving W-2s
US-CERT Security Tips
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