Common IRS Email Scams and How to Avoid Them
The IRS is the Internal Revenue Service of the United States federal government. This governmental agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury. It is headed by the appointed five-year term Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
According to the Tax Policy Centre, “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers the federal tax laws that Congress enacts. The IRS performs three main functions—tax return processing, taxpayer service, and enforcement.
Also, the IRS conducts criminal investigations and oversees tax-exempt organizations and qualified retirement plans.
The line of duty comes challenges that threaten the very core of its existence. One which is prevalent is the tyranny of email scams they experience.
What is Email Fraud?
Email scam (or email fraud) is a good plan aimed at deceiving for personal profits or to destroy a targeted person’s image or investments via email.
The inception of emails solved a litany of problems. However, these solutions sprouted more problems that tried to shed a bad light on the use of emails. One of these problems was the use of emails by con men and women to defraud people.
Some common Email Fraud Tactics
To begin, if the falling victim to the antics of con artists who use IRS emails to scam is a concern to you, know that the IRS will never demand that you use any payment method in particular.
For example wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card. So, when these options are presented to you via email, do not act on them.
Due to these antics by crooks, the IRS never asks for debit or credit card numbers over the phone or via email.
If you owe tax, you have to make payments to the U.S Treasury or go through IRS.gov/payments for online options.
Another common IRS email scam is when people receive supposed emails from the IRS asking that they pay their tax immediately.
Once you receive an email notification like this, you should treat this as a red flag.
The IRS also expects that you know your rights as a citizen of the United State of America. One of those rights ensures that you get correspondence beginning with a letter in the mail.
Not them asking for immediate payment, but a letter first that even allows you to appeal or question what you owe.
The IRS will never send an email threatening to harass using any office of the Force.
They never use the local police, law enforcement agencies, or immigration officers to arrest you for not paying your tax.
It is not in the jurisdiction of the IRS to revoke your license or immigration status. When you are faced with threats like these, do not fall victim as they are often con artists.
Only scammers will resort to threats to coerce you into becoming a victim of their antics. So please be alert and beware.
Scammers also trick businesses and taxpayers into believing they are official communications from the IRS or other agencies.
Watch out for scammers who go as far as asking for refunds, verifying personal identification numbers, filing status, ordering transcripts, and confirming personal information.
To avert this from happening to you, know that the IRS never uses email, social media, or text messages to communicate tax debts or refunds with taxpayers.
In the event they have to, the IRS will send an email to you only after a prior meeting with an IRS agent.
This IRS agent-individual relationship should be established, and surely will know what to expect in the mail after you meet with the agent.
Lately, one IRS email scam has been the use of the CoronaVirus
Immediately the CoronaVirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was passed, scam activities increased.
E-mail phishing scams are using keywords like “coronavirus,” “COVID-19” and “Stimulus” in a variety of ways to clickbait recipients to open emails.
These emails lead them to click on links that may lead you to malicious files that can corrupt your computer with malware.
Before you engage in emails that pose as some stimulus grant, do your findings before you do.
Other Kinds of Email Scams
The IRS further reports a spike in IRS email scams through the use of the Economic Impact Payments (EIP). This scheme catered to citizens who are victims of natural disasters through the CARES Act and relief.
In cases of this sort, phishers may provide faux tax returns and information to the IRS to intercept refunds made to you or any other payments.
To avert being a victim of this, do note that the agency instructs that all taxpayers go to the Coronavirus Tax Relief page for the necessary procedures involved in getting your EIP.
One prevalent e-scam activity recently is the prey on benevolent people who are willing to donate funds to support those in need through the pandemic or any other cause.
This has been spotted by the IRS and the public have been alerted on these happenings. The IRS has gone on to provide a list of bonafide nonprofit organizations to aid individuals to identify legal tax-exempt charity organizations.
Any other email that poses as a charity organization providing relief for the pandemic or any natural disaster should not be engaged.
They do this via emails delivered with a corrupt link or an attachment that you are expected to open accidentally.
In all, complete alertness when it comes to emails that request your personal information is crucial. You can also hire an expert to scan through your emails and determine the shady ones. Also, payments should not be completed until you have done your findings.