IRS Alerts Taxpayers to New Email Scam

A spoofed IRS.gov link leads victims to a fraudulent Web page where they are prompted to download malware.



The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers and tax professionals of a new impersonation scam in which fraudsters send unsolicited emails containing malicious links.

Emails contain links to a website resembling IRS.gov with details seemingly related to the recipient's tax refund, electronic return, or account. A "one-time password" is provided so the victims can access their refund information. Recipients who enter the password unintentionally download malware that could let attackers take control of their systems or install software that could track keystrokes. As a result, they could give away the passwords to sensitive accounts.

Subject lines for these emails vary. The IRS says recent examples use phrases like "Automatic Income Tax Reminder" or "Electronic Tax Return Reminder." It may not be tax season, but this campaign serves as a reminder that tax scams are a yearlong initiative for cybercriminals.

This scam is tricky to shut down because it leverages several compromised websites and Web addresses to pose as IRS.gov. The IRS emphasizes it does not send unsolicited emails and never contacts taxpayers via email, text message, or social media to request personal data. It won't ask for a PIN number, password, or similar access information for credit cards or bank accounts.

Further, the IRS will not call to demand immediate payment using a specific method (gift card or wire transfer, for example). If someone owes taxes, they usually receive a bill in the mail.

Read more details here.   

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