Hunting season is open again and you’re the target. According to the Internal Revenue Service, there is a new IRS impersonation email scam trying to con you out of your personal information with the end game of stealing your identity.
There are variations of what appears in the email subject line, but you may see phrases such as, “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax return Reminder.”
The emails have links that look like official IRS.gov websites. They pretend to be about your refund, electronic return or tax account. The emails contain a “temporary password” or “one-time password” so you can submit a refund. But using those passwords takes you to a malicious site that infects your computer with malware, allowing the scammer to track every keystroke you make, eventually giving them passwords to sensitive accounts, such as financial accounts.
- The IRS does not send unsolicited emails
- The IRS never sends emails about the status of refunds
- The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or any social media to request personal or financial information
- The IRS does not use email, text, or social media asking for PIN numbers, passwords, or information about credit cards, bank accounts or other financial accounts
- The IRS does not call you demanding payment using a specific payment method such as prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
Generally, if you owe taxes to the IRS, they begin by sending you a bill IN THE MAIL. So, be alert. Be wary. Be cautious. Question everything. Don’t take anything at face value. The list of warnings goes on and on. But the bottom line is… WATCH OUT!