The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has reported a recent surge of fraudulent emails, whereby tax transcripts are being used as bait to lure users into opening documents containing malware.
Taxpayers and tax practitioners should be aware of suspicious incoming emails from “IRS Online.” The subject line may be some variation of the phrase “tax transcript,” and there likely would be an attachment labeled “Tax Account Transcript” (or something similar).
The IRS reminds taxpayers it does not send unsolicited emails to the public, nor would it email a sensitive document such as a tax transcript to taxpayers. Be advised you should not open the email or its attachment. If you receive an email of this nature, delete it, if it is not your personal email account report it to your employer, and inform the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another form of identity theft to be aware of is a tax refund scam that entails depositing fraudulent tax refunds into an individual’s bank account, and then asking for the money to be returned to them. Read further about this deceptive tactic in our article on this new tax refund scam.
Taxpayers also need to to be wary of yearly attempts to access sensitive information via identity theft, phone scams and phishing scams. Of these scams listed, these are just a few of the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams.