IRS Warns About Email Fraud
During the current tax season, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning about increased identity theft.
Both the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department have noticed an increase in “phishing” e-mails. In these e-mails, scammers impersonate legitimate entities in the hope that you will provide them with personal or financial information, your social security number, credit card numbers, or passwords. Often, the sender's e-mail address looks legitimate, or the e-mail incorporates the real organization's actual logo. It may even have a disclaimer line in the e-mail, saying that false impersonation of another entity via the Internet is a crime subject to fines and imprisonment.
In the IRS scam, the e-mail may come from a seemingly legitimate e-mail address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The e-mail says you will receive a refund, and asks you to click on a link within the body of the e-mail, which brings you to a seemingly authentic Web site to confirm your private information in order to finish processing the refund.
Please know that the IRS does not e-mail taxpayers, nor does it ask for your private passwords, identification numbers, credit card accounts, or sensitive information.
Also, if you file your taxes electronically through an online system, acknowledgment of the receipt of your return will come from the tax software company or from the tax preparation service, not from the IRS.
In short, be suspicious of any e-mail that claims to be from the IRS. If you receive such an e-mail, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, toll-free, at 800.366.4484, or at www.treas.gov/tigta, to report it.
Asset management services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, a Registered Investment Adviser. Jacob Mack offers securities through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC.