In May and June alone, taxpayers reported almost 700 separate phishing incidents to the IRS.
The most common scams involve tax refunds and, this year, economic stimulus payments. The Internal Revenue Service cautions taxpayers to be on the lookout for a new wave of scams using the IRS name in identity theft e-mails, or phishing, that have circulated during the last two months.
The IRS has an interesting news article where the full details are available.
Here is a part of the article:
How Scams Work
“To lure their victims, phishing scams use the name of a known institution, such as the IRS, to either offer a reward for taking a simple action, such as providing information, or threaten or imply an unpleasant consequence, such as losing a refund, for failing to take the requested action.
“The goal of the scams is to trick people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which the scammers can use to commit identity theft.
“Typically, identity thieves use a victim’s personal and financial data to empty the victim’s financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim’s name, file fraudulent tax returns or even commit crimes. Most of these fraudulent activities can be committed electronically from a remote location, including overseas. Committing these activities in cyberspace allows scammers to act quickly and cover their tracks before the victim becomes aware of the theft.
“People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years – and their hard-earned money – cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their reputations and credit records. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities or may be refused loans, education, housing or cars.”
Topics in the article also include:
Refund e-Mail Scam
Tax Court Scam
Economic Stimulus Payments Scam
Company Report Scam
Substitute Form 1040 Fax Scam
What to Do
Do you have other tax problems with the IRS or California tax authorities? If so, speak with Mitchell A. Port, a tax attorney in Los Angeles, about your concerns.