Over the past year, several of our clients and staff have been victims of IRS phone call scams. Such scams usually consist of someone calling the taxpayer to collect a supposed delinquent tax payment. The caller is often demanding and will sometimes even threaten to send the police to the taxpayer’s home. We have always stressed that communication from the IRS or Franchise Tax Board is done in the form of an official written notice mailed to the taxpayer’s address, and neither agency would make such threats.
Recently, one of our clients was victim to a similar scam through email. The message claims that the IRS system detected a change in the taxpayer’s records and that the IRS now requests verification of the taxpayer’s information. Opening the attachment will bring the recipient to a form with required fields to be filled out, such as name, social security number, PIN, employer name and address, salary, etc. Although the top of the form indicates “IRS.gov,” this is still a SCAM. Notice that you are not taken to an IRS website; it is simply a doctored html document attached to a spam email. Releasing such information could allow a fraudulent tax return to be filed in the recipient’s name.
We advise that you regard any IRS phone calls or emails requesting such information as a scam. Please always take extreme precaution when sensitive information is being requested, and feel free to contact our office if you are unsure if you have been a victim of one of these scams.