It is tax season and here come the scammers. Here is how you can recognize an IRS scam.
- You receive an unexpected email claiming to be the IRS. The IRS does not initiate contact with an email.
- The IRS contacts you on social media.
- A website claiming to be IRS that doesn’t begin with ‘www.irs.gov.’
- You receive an unexpected phone call from the IRS that threatens you if you don’t send money
- A phone call where the caller claims to be from the IRS requesting personal information so they can send you a refund.
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The purpose of these scams is to gain assess to your social security number. The thief then files a tax return giving them a refund using your name. The thief transfers the refund to a bank account they have set up.
If someone has fraudulently gained assess to your SSN, you will not be able to file a tax return because one has already been filed. You may receive notices from the IRS that you owe money or have refund offsets. Another sign is employees listed that you have not worked for.
Actions to take:
Fraudulent Email–Forward Email to email@example.com
Fraudulent Website–send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraudulent Phone Calls–call: 1-800-366-4484 or file an online report at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting
If your identity has been stolen, you will have to take additional steps. Clearing up after someone has filed a fraudulent tax form using your SSN can take up to 8 months. For additional information see: Taxpayer Guide to Identity Fraud
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