Taxpayers: Beware of Identity Theft Scams That Use the IRS Name and Logo

As the economy grows gloomier, identity thieves are getting more desperate and creative to trick people into paying up. The latest IRS warning urges  people to be cautious of identity theft scams that involve using the IRS name, logo, and web address to fool people into believing the IRS is contacting them to request personal information.

Protect your finances and personal information from identity thieves by staying alert and cautious around emails, letters, and phone calls that request personal information.

CCH (http://tax.cchgroup.com) reports:

IRS Warns of New Identity Theft Scams

The IRS is reminding the public to avoid identity theft scams that may use the IRS name, logo or website address to trick taxpayers into believing that the scam is a genuine IRS request for personal information or other official communication. Such scams can operate through fax, phone, or e-mail (also called phishing scams). The IRS does not normally contact taxpayers or request personal information by email and any communications purportedly from the IRS asking for a lot of detailed personal information should be suspect. If an individual receives any such email, they should not open any attachments or click on any links in the email. Any suspicious email should be forwarded to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov and then deleted from the recipient’s inbox.

When in doubt, individuals should contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040, to make sure that any suspicious communications were in fact sent by the IRS. Recent scams have involved the Making Work Pay tax credit, false notices claiming that the recipient is entitled to receive millions of dollars from recovered funds, lottery winnings or cash consignments, counterfeit IRS Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding, and other counterfeit IRS forms, and most commonly, tax refund scams.

With respect to refund scams, the IRS stresses that taxpayers are not required to complete special forms to receive tax refunds that were claimed on previously filed returns. In addition, the public should be on the lookout for suspicious communications that threaten consequences for failure to respond, that use incorrect grammar or odd phrasing or that contain extremely long email addresses that do not start with the actual IRS Web site address http://www.irs.gov/.

These tax scams are potentially very dangerous and you can find yourself with serious IRS tax problems if you are not careful. If you think that the IRS may be contacting you for collecting back taxes or for delinquent tax returns, you need to get tax help now!

I am a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, a member of the American Society of IRS Problem Solvers and a Maryland CPA.  You can contact me at 866-477-7762 to obtain a free subscription to the IRS Times & Inquirer newsletter.

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One Response to “Taxpayers: Beware of Identity Theft Scams That Use the IRS Name and Logo”

  1. Identity Thieves Get Creative By Posing as IRS Agents in Emails | Tax Attorney and Tax Resolution Services: IRS Help Blog Says:

    [...] Read more about IRS scams. [...]

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