A TAX TIME TIP : In case you didn’t know it already, the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t contact anyone by phone or email — and definitely doesn’t ask for detailed personal and financial information, such as PIN numbers or passwords for credit cards or bank accounts. But scammers do.
If you suspect something “phishy,” call: 1-800-829-1040. Or go to irs.gov
If you get an e-mail, phone call or letter from someone claiming to be with the IRS and asking you for personal financial information:
1. DON’T open any attachments;
2. DON’T click on any links;
3. DON’T reply (of course);
If, for some reason, you were duped into surrendering confidential information, go to the IRS website and enter the search term ‘identity theft’ for more information and resources to help.
One of the easiest giveaways: The official IRS website ends in .gov and NOT .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.
Federal authorities ask that you report the call, fax, email or letter to the IRS: 1-800-829-1040. You can also go to irs.gov and type in the keyword “phishing.”
By doing so, “you can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized,” said IRS Agent Gregg J. Semanick.
Semanick said the IRS gets thousands of reports each year from taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from Uncle Sam.
The scammers will even use the IRS logo “as a lure to make the communication more authentic and enticing,” he said.
“The goal of these scams – known as phishing – is to trick you into revealing personal and financial information,” Semanick said. “The scammers can then use that information – like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers – to commit identity theft or steal your money.”
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