Tax Tip: Beware of fake IRS emails and phone calls - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Tax Tip: Beware of fake IRS emails and phone calls

Updated: Feb 27, 2014 04:22 PM
©iStockphoto.com/Bart Sadowski ©iStockphoto.com/Bart Sadowski

A tax tip from IRS.gov

Tax scams that use email and phone calls that appear to come from the IRS are common these days. These scams often use the IRS name and logo or fake websites that look real.

Scammers often send an email or call to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. The crooks then use this information to commit identity theft or steal your money. Some call their victims to demand payment on a pre-paid debit card or by wire transfer. But the IRS will not initiate contact with you to ask for this information by phone or email.

If you get this type of ‘phishing' email, the IRS offers this advice:

Don't reply to the message.
Don't open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
Don't give out your personal or financial information.
Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.

If you get an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS:

Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
If you think you may owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.
If you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 to report the incident.
You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission by using their "FTC Complaint Assistant" on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Be alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS will not initiate contact with you through social media or text to ask for your personal or financial information.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov.


Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Podcasts:

 

Remember that all of the web page addresses for the official IRS website, IRS.gov, begin with http://www.irs.gov. Don't be confused or misled by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is http://www.irs.gov/.

INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
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