It’s Tax Season - Watch Out for E-mail Scams
Tax season cometh – and so do e-mail scammers in the guise of the real taxman.
Some scams involve tricking victims into revealing private financial
information over the Internet, a practice known as “phishing” for
Others try to entice taxpayers to click their way to a fake IRS Web site and are asked for bank account numbers. Another widespread e-mail tells taxpayers the IRS is holding a refund -- often $63.80 -- for them and asks for financial account information.
Popular e-mail scams
The IRS warns consumers of recent e-mail scams that:
- Notify the recipient that their tax return will be audited and instruct them to click on links to complete forms with personal and account information. They will use the information to commit identity theft.
- Inform the recipient they’re eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount, and instruct them to click on a link in the e-mail to access a refund claim form. The form asks for personal information that can be used to access the e-mail recipient’s bank or credit card account.
E-mail from the IRS? Not!
The IRS says that it does not send unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information online.
Nor does it ask for PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access
information for taxpayers’ credit cards, bank or other financial
accounts. It doesn’t send e-mails soliciting contributions to charitable
causes, either, or advise taxpayers of refunds.
If you suspect a scam
Recipients of questionable e-mails claiming to come from the IRS should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the e-mails.
Neither Nationwide nor any of its representatives give tax or legal advice. Federal tax laws are complex and subject to change. Please consult your tax or legal adviser for answers to your specific questions.