Beware of IRS scams!
Once again taxpayers are being targeted for identity theft, this year both by email and telephone. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email. DO NOT OPEN OR CLICK ON LINKS IN THESE EMAILS!
If you have received such emails you should forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org for investigation (instructions for this are available at www.irs.gov, click on the "Warning on Identity Theft Scams" link). In general all unsolicited emails claiming to be from a governmental entity are most likely scams, as most will initially contact you by the U. S. Mail. If in doubt, give us a call at 586-775-5222.
Here are some of the many ways that taxpayers are being targeted by scams:
- Rebate Phone Call-you get a phone call offering a rebate from the government, but they need your banking information for the direct deposit-or you don't get your rebate. This is bogus. No such program exists, and the IRS does not force taxpayers to use direct deposit (nor would they call you about it).
- Refund E-mail-you receive an e-mail that looks like it came from the IRS. The e-mail is a fraud trying to get you to click on a link to get a refund. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails to taxpayers and the only way to get a refund is to file a tax return (and qualify).
- Audit E-mail-this e-mail pretends to be from the IRS and is a notice that your return has been selected for audit. This is the only scam e-mail yet seen that will be addressed to you using your name. This technique may be used to avoid spam filters that often catch other bogus e-mails. Do not click on the links.
- Changes to tax law E-mail-this e-mail is directed to businesses and accountants asking them to click links to get tax law changes. These links will most likely download malware into your computer, allowing the spammer to obtain private information.
- Paper Check Phone Call-this telephone scam tries to tell you that the IRS has sent you a check, but it hasn't been cashed yet. They want your bank information for verification purposes. The caller may have a foreign accent. Do not give out any of your information! The IRS does not care if you ever cash their check.The IRS would never call for this information.
What to do if you think you have been scammed:
If you have received an e-mail that you find suspicious, forward it to the IRS at a special address they have set up for tracking and pursuing these scams:
Instructions can be found here:
How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious E-Mails or Phishing Schemes
If you have gotten a phony phone call, you may also report this at the e-mail address given above.