Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to ID & Report IRS Phishing Scams to Protect Your Personal Financial Information Online


It's approaching the end of January, and that time of year -- time to start thinking about filing your tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Lately, at the same time, the Internet has also become a hotbed for phishing scams trying to capture your personal information and even, quite possibly, to pocket your tax refund and much worse.

Example of a real Fraudulent Email

Don't fall for ANY "official-looking" emails you get that appear to be from the IRS. This includes ones requesting your personal or financial information as well as those containing malicious attachments, such as the one I received today (pictured above) claiming a criminal complaint against my company. That's because the official IRS website says they will never initiate contact via email. 

"The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts." From the IRS Page on Phishing

What to do if you receive a suspicious email according to the IRS
  • Don't reply
  • Don't open any attachments
  • Don't click on any links
  • Forward the email as is to phishing@irs.gov
  • Delete the email in question
Remember by reporting these scams you are making a difference, not only protecting yourself but also potentially protecting others as well. For more information on helping to combat phishing and avoiding scams masquerading as IRS communications, visit the IRS.gov page dedicated to identifying and reporting phishing and online scams.

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