iQTAXX Tax Services - IRS Email Scam
The incidence of “phishing” has grown each year to include new schemes, many of which appear to be legitimate. Phishing is the term used to refer to scams in which individuals attempt to trick someone into revealing information that can then be utilized to “steal” the victim’s identity. Fraudsters steal personal information in order to steal the assets in an individual’s banking accounts, open a credit card or loan without the intent to pay the debts, or to commit other crimes using someone else’s identity.
Both personal and financial information are solicited in an email that claims to be from a legitimate source but are actually generated from a fraudster’s location. In the IRS email scam, the email claims to come from the IRS and appears to look legitimate due to the sophistication and skills of the fraudster in using sophisticated language and IRS logos.
In particular, fraudsters will use the IRS logo, name, or cloned website to legitimize their email, increasing their chances of tricking unsuspecting victims into giving up their personal information, Social Security Number (SSN), bank account number, checking account number, or other types of financial information. The emails look as though they have been generated directly from the IRS or Treasury Department.
Additional scams include faxes and phone calls that claim to be from the IRS, but actually are not. The IRS website includes a list of current IRS scams on their website for the benefit of anyone who is interested in investigating this type of activity further.
Avoiding IRS Phishing Scams
One of the easiest ways to identify the IRS phishing scam is to simply realize that the IRS does not request personal financial information via email – EVER! If the IRS needs to contact you, they will use the postal mailing system in most cases.
You should never attempt to investigate the legitimacy of a suspicious email further by clicking on any attachments that arrived within the email. More likely than not, any attachments included in the IRS phishing email contain a virus that can damage your computer or steal your data without your knowledge.
If you are directed to click a link for more information or to comply with any requests for information, look at the link closely. All legitimate Web pages for the IRS always begin with http://www.irs.gov.
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS or Treasury Department that you suspect is a phishing attempt, you should ignore any requests within its content. Instead, you should forward the email in its entirety to firstname.lastname@example.org.