Scams and Phishing

Today TaxMama hears from our buddy Blake, who sends us many of the Money Funnies you enjoy so much. Blake asks, “Just where do I forward the spam and scams and phishing e-mails to the IRS when I get them or hear about them? I am particularly concerned about those e-mails asking for donations in the name of IRS and the State of California.”

Dear Blake,

Thanks for asking.

Since I get so many thousands of pieces of junk like this every day, I tend to forget that not everyone recognizes these e-mails and solicitations as scams. I’ll bet you get at least one e-mail today that tells you about a refund. Don’t be tempted.

First of all, if you ever get an e-mail contact from IRS or your state, about something related to you, personally – it’s fraudulent. Neither the Internal Revenue, nor your state ever initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail.

In fact, except for IRS’s education and press offices, you’re not apt to get any communications with IRS staff by e-mail. From them, you’ll get newsletters and announcements about classes – webinars and live courses.

If you ever get any e-mail asking to you reply or click on a link and to provide any information whatsoever, do one of two things.

1) Discard it. Be sure you’ve totally removed it and any attachments the e-mail contained. Or

2) Contact IRS. Forward the e-mail with all the attachments and headers to phishing@irs.gov . You’ll find more information, including samples of phishing e-mails and documents, here
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=155682,00.html

If you choose, you can also forward suspicious e-mails to the Federal Trade Commission at: spam@uce.gov or contact them at www.consumer.gov/idtheft 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338). No doubt, your state has a procedure to report scams, too. http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.html

Whatever you do, do NOT open any attachments. Ever.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about phishing, scams, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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