(WatchDogReport.org) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is advising taxpayers and tax professionals to remain vigilant and safeguard sensitive information as the filing season nears. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel urged caution against email and text scams, emphasizing the relentless tactics used by identity thieves.
Werfel highlighted the evolving strategies of scammers who often pose as tax authorities or other credible sources during tax season, exploiting people’s eagerness to obtain information on refunds or related issues. The IRS, along with its Security Summit partners, consisting of state tax agencies and various tax-related entities, aims to raise awareness during National Tax Security Awareness Week, preceding the upcoming 2024 tax filing season.
The warning emphasized that the IRS primarily communicates via regular mail, cautioning against unsolicited messages by email, text, or social media regarding tax refunds or bills. Identity thieves capitalize on recent events or tragedies, using them as a pretext to deceive taxpayers.
The IRS cautions taxpayers about messages that seem to come from acquaintances but might originate from hacked email or text accounts. This tactic remains popular among scammers, targeting people and tax preparers. To confirm the sender’s identity, individuals should use a different communication mode, like dialing a known accurate number instead of the one given in the message.
Scams such as phishing emails falsely claim to be from legitimate entities like the IRS or state tax organizations, enticing victims with counterfeit tax refunds or threatening legal actions for tax fraud. Similar fraudulent attempts, known as “smishing,” use text messages to trick individuals into believing their accounts are on hold or report unusual activity, providing fake solutions to rectify the issue.
The IRS stressed the importance of not responding to tax-related phishing or smishing and avoiding clicking on any unsolicited links. Instead, individuals should report such scams by forwarding the email or text as an attachment to [email protected].
The IRS and its Security Summit partners aim to keep taxpayers and tax professionals alert against potential scams that can surface via various channels like email, text, phone, or mail. Identity theft and tax scams, especially during the approaching tax season, pose a significant risk, prompting the need for heightened vigilance.
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