IRS fake emails continue to find their way into the inboxes of taxpayers and tax filers across the United States. Tax filers should be particularly suspicious and vigilant about inspecting any suspicious email from the IRS as the 2015 tax season continues. Yesterday I received an extremely sketchy looking email which appears to be a fake IRS email; while the banner screamed IRS.gov, the content of the message screamed scam.
Always remember as stated on the IRS website, the IRS does not reach out to tax filers through email, texts or social media. The IRS does not initiate contact to a tax filer and advises all tax filers to forward the any email which appears to be a fake IRS email to the address listed below.
What Does A Fake IRS Email Look Like?
I received an email purported to be from IRS.gov. Upon casually reviewing the email a few red flags were immediately evident which caused close inspection.
2. The email had a long reference number which looked suspicious.
3. The email stated “We encountered an error in processing your tax refund due. This could be an error resulting from a recent change of address or banking details.” Really? I have not changed or altered any of those details.
4. The email was received in an email account I did not use to file my tax return.
5. The email included a link which was stated to click and enter “valid information to file your refund”. Links should never be clicked on in a suspicious email. Legitimate personal information by legitimate companies or government entities do not request this type of information.
What Should You Do If You Receive a Fake IRS Email?
The IRS has requested that all suspicious emails be forwarded to the IRS and the emails be forwarded AS IS. Do not scan the email and forward. Information is contained in the original fake IRS email which the IRS needs to review, scanning the email will remove some of the information.
Do not click on the link and forward the email to email@example.com. The IRS reminds taxpayers on the phishing page of its’ website of recent online scams and phishing attempts by scammers; tax refund season is a popular target for fake IRS email such as I received masquerading as official emails which need additional personal information to process the refund.