If you receive unsolicited email that claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service, it's probably a fake, the IRS warned on Feb. 6.
Identity thieves often claim to be the IRS to gain access to personal information, the agency reported.
"The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets," the IRS said. "Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing."
The IRS re-released several warnings about scams often performed in its name.
"An IRS notice informing a taxpayer that more than one return was filed in the taxpayer’s name or that the taxpayer received wages from an unknown employer may be the first tip off the individual receives that he or she has been victimized," according to one of the documents.
"The IRS has a robust screening process with measures in place to stop fraudulent returns. While the IRS is continuing to address tax-related identity theft aggressively, the agency is also seeing an increase in identity crimes, including more complex schemes. In 2011, the IRS protected more than $1.4 billion of taxpayer funds from getting into the wrong hands due to identity theft."
Suspicious email relating to taxes should be sent to the IRS at email@example.com.
Tax Preparation Examiner RSS feed