The IRS is warning taxpayers not to respond to e-mails and phone calls they may receive which claim to come from the IRS or another federal agency. Such contacts are likely to be scams whose purpose is to obtain personal and financial information from taxpayers – information that is then used by the scammers to commit identity theft.
Typically, the scam e-mail or phone call states that the IRS needs certain information to process a tax return or refund. The e-mail contains links or attachments to what appears to be the IRS website or an IRS form. Though they appear genuine, these phonies are designed to get from taxpayers the information scammers need to steal identities. The links can even download malicious software onto the taxpayer’s computer if clicked. The software is often designed to search out and send to the scammer personal and financial information contained on the taxpayer’s computer that the scammer uses to commit identity theft.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that it does not send unsolicited e-mails asking for sensitive personal and financial information.