IRS Warns of New Impersonation Scam
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its Security Summit have recently issued warnings about a new email impersonation scam that is spreading rapidly across the country. Taxpayers began notifying the IRS earlier this week about unsolicited emails from imposters, including emails claiming to be sending tax filing reminders.
The scam emails will contain links to websites that are similar in appearance to the IRS.gov website and that require the taxpayers to login to an account, using a password created by the scammers. The account claims to have details about the taxpayer’s refund, tax return, and tax account history. However, the account is actually a link that will infect the user’s computer with malware. The imposters will use the malware to attempt to gain control of the taxpayer’s computer or secretly download software to track keystrokes. This tracking can provide the scammer with sensitive information, such as passwords to websites that the taxpayer frequents.
It is important to remember that the IRS will never contact taxpayers via email, especially regarding tax sensitive information such as refund statuses. Likewise, the IRS will never initiate contact through text messages or social media channels. If taxpayers receive a message from the IRS via any of these channels, they should forward the message immediately to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if taxpayers feel they are the recipient of a potential scam, they can call the IRS during business hours to confirm the information they received.
These scams are similar to others in which imposters will contact taxpayers over the phone and demand immediate payment of taxes using methods such as prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. Never submit payment via these methods – the IRS will first send taxpayers a bill through the mail before using other methods to collect tax due.
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