In the latest news regarding email-triggered cyber scams targeting Americans, Optima Tax Relief’s experts advise American taxpayers and tax professionals to heed a recent statement issued by the IRS. In the official statement issued by the IRS and its Security Summit partners, the IRS is calling attention to a new national email cyber scam campaign that has the potential to put millions of Americans in jeopardy.
These unsolicited emails generated by IRS imposters use the subject line of the email to capture the recipient’s attention, warning consumers of an “Automatic Income Tax Reminder,” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” Within the body of the email, unsuspecting recipients can easily link into a fraudulent website that to the undiscerning eye, appears to be a legitimate IRS website. The email includes a link to a temporary password – embedded with malicious files and malware – that may enable access to a wide range of sensitive data, from personal passwords to financial accounts.
So how can unsuspecting taxpayers protect themselves from this dubious cyber scam? First and foremost, the IRS does not initiate any unsolicited contact via email. If you received an email from the IRS, it is best to proceed with caution and assume it is indeed fraudulent. If a taxpayer owes any monies to the IRS, the IRS will always provide statements officially documenting the monies owed through the regular mail. The IRS will never contact taxpayers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.
“The IRS does not send emails about your tax refund or sensitive financial information,” warns IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This latest scheme is yet another reminder that tax scams are a year-round business for thieves. We urge you to be on guard at all times.”