Certified Public Accountants

Consumers Warned About Increase in IRS E-mail Schemes

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.
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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:

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 phishing@irs.gov.

More Information

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

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