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SCAM ALERT: IRS issues warning on new email tax scam

IRS drops nonprofit data collection proposal
Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 15:30:45-04

WASHINGTON (KTNV) — The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners are warning taxpayers and tax professionals about a new IRS impersonation scam.

This campaign is spreading nationally on email.

The IRS reported this week it detected a new scam as taxpayers began notifying phishing@irs.gov about unsolicited emails from IRS imposters.

The email subject line may vary, but recent examples use the phrase “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.”

The emails have links that show an IRS.gov-like website with details pretending to be about the taxpayer’s refund, electronic return or tax account. The emails contain a "temporary password" or "one-time password" to "access" the files to submit a refund. But when taxpayers try to access these, it turns out to be a malicious file.

“The IRS does not send emails about your tax refund or sensitive financial information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This latest scheme is yet another reminder that tax scams are a year-round business for thieves. We urge you to be on guard at all times.”

This new scam uses dozens of compromised websites and web addresses that pose as IRS.gov, making it a challenge to shut down. By infecting computers with malware, these imposters may gain control of the taxpayer’s computer or secretly download software that can eventually get passwords to sensitive accounts, according to an IRS news release.

As a reminder, the IRS reports it does not send unsolicited emails and never emails taxpayers about the status of refunds.

More information about online scams is available here on the IRS website.