It’s that time of year when unsuspecting taxpayers receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the IRS. Many of the scams use the IRS name or logo to appear more authentic.
These scams, known as phishing, try to trick you into revealing personal and financial information like your Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers to commit identity theft or steal your money.
The IRS wants you to be aware of these imposters, and cites five tips to verify the authenticity of a request.
- Don’t provide personal information. The IRS will never ask for your PIN, passwords or other secret account information from your credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
- Ignore email correspondence. The IRS never initiates taxpayer communication via email. If you receive an email message from someone purporting to be from the IRS, don’t reply, open any attachments or click on links.
- Remember there is only one irs.gov. Don’t be fooled by other websites claiming to be the IRS that end in .com, .net, .org or any other designation.
- Call the IRS to verify authenticity. If you receive a suspicious phone call, fax or letter from someone claiming to be from the IRS, you can verify the information by calling the IRS at 800.829.1040.
- Help stamp out the scams. Learn how you can report suspicious activity and the steps to take if you have been victimized at www.irs.gov.
If you receive suspicious communication that appears to be from the IRS or any other taxing authority, you can also consult with your Rea advisor. We can help you in authenticate the inquiry and help you respond to legitimate requests.