It’s unfortunate but every once in a while I get a call or an email asking if a request is legitimate from the IRS. Most of the time, a taxpayer’s hunch is that they are not real and no information was given. Billions of U.S. tax monies are refunded due to these criminals ability to collect and use identity theft techniques.
Here are a few things to remember when you get that strange email or phone call:
Scammers disguise e-mails to look legitimate.
Legitimate businesses and the IRS never request sensitive personal and financial information by e-mail.
Don’t become a victim.
Stop – Think – Delete
While you are thinking about the your children’s soccer games or vacations and holiday’s, the scammers are out there figuring ways to dupe you out of your money. They become very active towards the end of the year and during tax season.
What they try to do is trick you into divulging your personal such bank account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
One of the most popular methods these unscrupulous people use is requesting your personal information by e-mail. And they are pretty good at making their e-mails look as if they came from a legitimate source such as the IRS, your credit card company, your bank, etc.
You need to be very careful when responding to e-mails asking you to update such things as your account information, pin number, password, etc. First and foremost, you should be aware that no legitimate company would make such a request by e-mail. If they do, they should be deleted and ignored just like spam e-mails.
We have seen bogus e-mails that looked like they were from the IRS, well-known banks, credit card companies, and other pseudo-legitimate enterprises. The intent is to trick you and have you click through to a website that also appears legitimate where they have you enter your secure information. Here are some examples:
E-mails that appeared to be from the IRS indicating you have a refund coming and they need information to process the refund. The IRS never initiates communication via e-mail! Right away, you know it is bogus. If you are concerned, please free to call this office.
E-mails from a bank indicating they are holding a wire transfer and they need your bank routing information and account number. Don’t respond; if in doubt, call your bank.
E-mails saying you have a foreign inheritance and they need your bank info so they can wire the funds. The funds that will get wired are yours going the other way. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it generally is not true.
We could go on and on with examples. The key here is for you to be highly suspect of any e-mail requesting personal or financial information.
A good rule of thumb is to: STOP – THINK – DELETE
If your identity is stolen, your life can become a nightmare. Identity thieves will even file tax returns under your Social Security number claiming huge refunds and leaving you with a horrendous mess to clean up with the IRS. Don’t be a victim.
Please call this office if you believe your tax ID has been compromised.