Obviously, you use the Internet or you wouldn’t be reading this article. Since you use the web, you know about phishing scams or should. Some scams are now using fake IRS identification.
IRS Wants to Know About Fake Emails Using IRS Name
The IRS has sent out numerous press releases and warning about phishing scams involving tax and IRS logos and fake sites. Now the IRS wants to have a go at hunting down the scam artists. Obviously, it can only do this if it sees the fake emails being sent out. If you receive one of these email messages, the IRS is asking that you forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IRS does not send unsolicited emails to taxpayers. Indeed, the IRS doesn’t even know your email address, so how could it? When you receive email messages from something @irs.gov, it is a scam trying to fleece your private information in one form or another. Do not respond to these email messages. Instead, forward them to the IRS at the email address provided above.
An example of a fishing email using the IRS identity might read something like:
[IRS logo or fake link to IRS web site in header]
Pursuant to our automatic tax return review process, we have determined you are due a tax refund of $xxx.xx. Please submit a request for the issuance of your tax refund by clicking HERE.
Once you click through to the page, you are asked to provide a variety of personal information such as social security number and bank account number. The purported reason is to verify your identity as well as issue the refund to your bank account. This is all completely fake. The scam artists are just trying to get your information so they can open accounts under your name or swipe money from your bank account.
Importantly, you must understand that domain names are really just representations of numbers. The fact you see “irs.something” does not mean it is from the IRS. If you think the IRS might really be trying to contact you, get on the phone and call them. Do not use any phone number in the phishing email.