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Tax Strategies

Beware of fake IRS communications


The IRS receives thousands of reports each year from taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

Many of these scams fraudulently use the Internal Revenue Service name or logo as a lure to make the communication more authentic and enticing.

The goal of these scams — known as phishing — is to trick you into revealing personal and financial information. The scammers can then use that information; like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers — to commit identity theft or steal your money.

Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about phishing scams:

•The IRS doesn’t ask for detailed personal and financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for credit card, bank or other accounts.

•The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail and won’t send a message about your tax account. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS site, do not reply to the message, do not open attachments, which may contain malicious code that will infect your computer, and do not click any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious email or phishing website and entered confidential information, visit the IRS and enter the search term “identity theft” for more information and resources to help.

The IRS website is at http://www.irs.gov.


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