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.
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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.
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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.
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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
https://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.
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https://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.
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Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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