The IRS followed up its November warning regarding new income disclosure rules with a new warning regarding “emerging scams that attempt to obtain individuals’ sensitive information.”
The IRS announcement warned that unexpected correspondences or telephone messages from the IRS could be malicious. Citizens are cautioned to beware.
IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in a statement:
“Identity thieves are relentless and use a variety of techniques. … We urge people to be careful with their personal information and be wary of email and text scams.”
Werfel added: “With people anxious to receive the latest information about a refund or other issues during tax season, scammers will regularly pose as the IRS, a state tax agency or others in the tax industry. People should be incredibly wary about unexpected messages that can be an elaborate trap by scam artists, especially during filing season.”
The IRS warned that “phishing” email scams — where a fake agent from the IRS or State Tax Collection agency attempts to gather information to steal one’s identity, are common.
The report warned that similar attempts to gain personal information via text messaging, referred to as “smishing,” are growing in number as well.
Werfel said: “The email lures the victims into the scam by a variety of ruses such as enticing victims with a phony tax refund or frightening them with false legal/criminal charges for tax fraud.”
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