The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published a news release warning taxpayers of a new impersonation scam. According to the agency, the scam involves unsolicited emails sent to taxpayers asking for tax payment.
Details of the scam: Bad link leads to malicious file
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be on the lookout for emails with a subject of “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or the like. The email contains a link to access files about a refund or other tax information. Instead of taking the taxpayer to the information, anyone that clicks the link installs malicious files onto their computer. This malware can then give the fraudster access to your computer potentially resulting in the information needed to commit identity theft and access personal accounts.
Know the process: IRS contact most likely through mailings
The information from the IRS also provides an opportunity to review some basics about contact from the agency. The IRS generally contacts taxpayers through use of a mailing. The agency will not send an email or contact taxpayers through social media to request sensitive financial information.
Unsolicited phone calls are also suspect. The agency has warned taxpayers not to give immediate payment over the phone. Scammers are also known to demand taxpayers get a prepaid debit card or conduct a wire transfer.
Taxpayers have options when contacted by the IRS: Collections and audits
Taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS about a tax audit or collection matter are wise to seek the counsel of an attorney. A lawyer experienced in tax law can review the correspondence from the IRS and discuss your options.