February 19, 2016
Compton Accounting just recently found out that there is a new IRS scam happening right now. USA Today Reporter Kevin McCoy reports that email and texting scams are designed to trick U.S tax payers into providing personal data. So far this year 400%, the IRS warned Thursday in a renewed consumer alert.
The Schemes involve “phishing” messages designed to trick taxpayers into believing the emails and texts represent official communications from the IRS, tax software companies or others in the tax industry. The IRS DOES NOT contact tax payers using electronic methods such as cell phones, telephones, computers, etc. They ONLY contact taxpayers by U.S.P.S mail.
The messages typically ask for data related to tax refunds, filing status, or seek confirmation of personal information, including ordering IRS transcripts or verification of IRS Personal Identification Numbers, the tax agency said.
When consumers CLICK on the email links, they are sent to what appear to be government websites that ask for Social Security numbers and other personal information that identity thieves can use to file false tax returns and collect refunds, the IRS said. The sites may also contain malware that infect taxpayers’ computers and enable cyberthieves to gain access to file or track consumers’ keystrokes to get personal data.
“This dramatic jump in these scams comes at the busiest time of tax season", IRS Commissioner John Koskinen warned. “Watch out for fraudsters slipping these official-looking emails into inboxes, trying to confuse people at the very time they work on their taxes. We urge people not to click on these emails.”
Additionally, tax professionals have reported being targeted by similar phishing scams that seek their online credentials for IRS services.
The IRS said it is working with state revenue departments, tax preparation companies and others in the tax industry to address the scams.
Compton Accounting urges you to please be careful. NEVER give out your personal information over the phone. If someone from the IRS calls you DO NOT give them ANY information. Please just hang up and report the incident. You work hard for the money you earn. Don’t let someone else take it away from you. I wish everyone a happy and safe tax season.