ST. LOUIS – The IRS is warning taxpayers that scam e-mails using the IRS name and logo are circulating again.
“Now that the filing season is over, taxpayers are getting suspicious e-mails, phone calls or faxes claiming to be from the IRS,” said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. “Many of these scams fraudulently use the IRS name or logo as a lure to make the communication appear more authentic.”
Devine said some scam e-mails are easy to spot because they have misspelled words, use incorrect grammar or odd phrasing, but many e-mail scams are fairly sophisticated and hard to detect.
“The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail to taxpayers and never asks for personal and financial information such as PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret information for financial accounts,” said Devine. “If the IRS has a question, the first contact a taxpayer gets will be a letter or notice that arrives through the mail.”
The IRS says there are signs to watch for, such as requests for personal and/or financial information; threats for not responding, such as an audit; any link that does not include the real IRS Web address - www.irs.gov.
Devine said if you receive a phone call, fax or letter in the mail from an individual claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if it is legitimate.
You can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized by reporting any bogus correspondence or forwarding suspicious/scam e-mail to the IRS at email@example.com.