The IRS Is not email-friendly
Spammers, scammers and fraudsters are getting into high gear as tax season approaches. In the past two weeks I’ve heard from a few clients asking me about emails they’ve received from the Internal Revenue Service.
Just one problem: The emails were not from IRS. The IRS never initiates contact with a taxpayer through email.
Never, ever, EVAH.
Here’s what the IRS says you should do if you get an email purporting to be from the Service:
- Do not open the email. Just opening a malicious email message that has a file attachment can launch a hidden program.
- If you can, simply highlight the message and forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do not reply to the email.
- Do not open any attachments
- Do not click on any links
- If you already opened the email, forward it to email@example.com. Include the internet header–that might help IRS locate the sender. And delete the message after that.
What does a fake IRS email look like? (And again, remember they are all fakes.) Here’s an example, directly from a taxpayer:
From: Internal Revenue Service
To: (Your Email Address–Joseph Anthony Has Removed This For Privacy Purposes)
Sent: Mon, Nov 14, 2011 8:11 am
Subject: IRS tax refund #period 2010
The analysis of the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity has indicated that
you are entitled to receive a tax refund of $213.23
Please submit a request of the tax refund and a processing of the request will take 7-14 days.
A tax refund can be delayed by different reasons.
For instance submission of invalid records or sending after the deadline.
Please find the form of your tax refund attached and fill out it and send a report.
Remember–Don’t open or respond to IRS emails. They are all fakes!!!