Did you know that ALREADY the IRS is warning that is has seen a 400% surge in phishing and malware compared to the last tax year? Unfortunately tax season now coincides with “fraud season”.
Last week the IRS warned of the dramatic increase in official-looking text and email messages that taxpayers have received. Phishing messages have been received asking for a wide variety of sensitive information, including filing status, personal information confirmations, PIN verifications, and more. The messages have been created to look official as if they have been sent from the IRS or a tax software company and are being received in every corner of the United States.
Next time you open up that email that is asking for important personal information, take notice of who the sender is and the link that they are trying to make you click on. Chances are that the link is hyperlinked to a fraudulent website, in hopes that you enter in your information there. A trick is to “hover” your mouse above the link and then see where you are really being re-directed, if the link looks odd (which it probably will), then delete the email. If you are unsure, you can always send the email to your CPA, and he or she can then advise on the validity of the email.
Remember: The IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media, or phone calls for that matter. So if you receive a message, be suspicious!
Some subject lines that the IRS has seen in phishing scams, include:
- Confirm your personal information
- Get my IP PIN
- Get my E-file PIN
- Order a transcript
- Complete you tax return information
- Variations about people’s tax refunds
- Update your filing details, which can include references to W-2
To report a phishing scam to the IRS, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was created for your protection, please be aware of these circumstances and alert your CPA if you are ever unsure. We have experience in dealing with the IRS and can quickly let you know if something is or isn’t a fraudulent message.