This Is Getting Taxing!

Tax scam warning sign, A yellow warning sign with text Tax Scam and theft icon on a keyboard

In my June 8, 2019 post, IRS Scams, I told you about two scams for which the IRS gave us a warning. Well, guess what? There’s another IRS-related scam and another warning.

The current IRS alert is about an email scam. Here’s how it works: you receive an email from a spoofed (fake) IRS email address. The subject line is generally something like “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” In the email, there is a link to a spoofed site. In other words, the site looks like the real IRS site but it’s not. Once you reach the site, it offers you a temporary password so you can see your tax information. When you enter the password, instead of getting tax information, you get a malicious software program downloaded onto your computer.

Remember, “the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. The IRS also doesn’t call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.” (Quoted directly from the IRS News Release [click to read] regarding this scam.)

When you receive emails like this, think back on all I’ve shared about Social Engineering. Especially recall the three ways evil people use it so they can trick you, as I explained in my post, The Weakest Link In The Chain.

  • Using fear as a motivator
  • Appealing to your willingness to help others
  • Attempting to tap into your dreams