The Internal Revenue Service issued a new consumer alert for e-mail schemes after seeing an approximate 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents during the 2016 tax season thus far. The number of incidents this year have already surpassed all of 2014 and are halfway to the total number of incidents in 2015.
While more attention has focused on the ongoing IRS phone scams, the IRS is concerned the increase in email schemes threatens more taxpayers.
Phishing and malware schemes joined IRS phone scams on the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” tax scam list for the 2016 filing season. The “Dirty Dozen” is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter.
IRS E-mail Schemes:
What To Look For
Taxpayers may receive an email from what appears to be an official source, whether the IRS or someone in the tax industry. The underlying messages frequently ask taxpayers to update important information by clicking on a web link. The links may be masked to appear to go to official pages, but they can go to a scam page designed to look like the official page.
Examples include e-mail subject lines and underlying text referencing:
- Numerous variations about people’s tax refund.
- Update your filing details, which can include references to W-2.
- Confirm your personal information.
- Get my IP Pin.
- Get my E-file Pin.
- Order a transcript.
- Complete your tax return information.
What To Do If You Receive an IRS E-Mail Scheme
DO NOT click on the link in the e-mail. Instead, forward the e-mail to email@example.com.
- Contact Torkelson & Associates CPAs, LLP using our online form below for more information or to schedule your tax preparation appointment.
- IRS Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance
- Fact Sheet 2016-1, IRS, States and Tax Industry Combat Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts
- Fact Sheet 2016-2, IRS, States and Tax Industry Urge Taxpayers to Join the Effort to Combat Identity Theft
- Fact Sheet 2016-3, IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works
- Fact Sheet 2016-4, How New Identity Security Changes May Affect Taxpayers for 2016
Source: IRS Newswire Issue Number: IR-2016-28 Dated February 18, 2016 – ADV: IR-2016-28: Consumers Warned of New Surge in IRS E-mail Schemes during 2016 Tax Season; Tax Industry Also Targeted