Beware of phishing this tax season and other online scams.

Just a reminder. “The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.” (IRS.GOV)

What is phishing?
Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information. Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov.

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What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related email
If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery.

  • Don’t reply.
  • Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  • Don’t click on any links. Visit our identity protection page if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
  • Forward – preferably with the full email headers – the email as-is to us at phishing@irs.gov. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
  • Delete the original email.

What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related phone call?

Hang up and look into a blocking service. Easy to install call blocking software for smartphones is available. While the IRS does not endorse any solution or brand, a limited sample of the available options are:

How do I verify contact from the IRS?
Go to IRS.gov and search on the letter, notice, or form number.

What if I received an email requesting W2 information?
Report the W2 variant to the IRS – whether you are a victim or not to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (https://www.IC3.gov/default.aspx).

What if I receive an unsolicited text message or SMS message claiming to be from the IRS?

  • Don’t reply. Don’t open any attachments. Don’t click on any links.
  • If you clicked on links in a suspicious SMS and entered confidential information, visit our identity protection page.
  • Forward the text as-is, to us at 202-552-1226. If possible, in a separate text, forward the originating number to us at 202-552-1226
  • DELETE the original text.

Visit the official website IRS.GOV for more detailed information.
https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing

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