What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication

In recent years there has been a rise in fraud, or “spam”, calls and emails sent to taxpayers from criminals impersonating the Internal Revenue Service. These crimes are sophisticated and aggressive, often threatening taxpayers with criminal charges, deportation, and license revocation if they do not immediately pay a sum of money under the guise of owing the IRS taxes and penalties. Due to the hostile nature of these calls, many individuals concede and give these criminals what they want.

In light of this knowledge, we want to take a moment to remind you that the IRS always sends taxpayers written notifications via the US Mail and you should never give your personal information to anyone claiming to be from the IRS over the phone or via email. Below, you will find a guided list from the IRS website with instructions should you be targeted with one of these scams:

 

What to do if you receive a suspicious IRS-related communication

 If

 Then

You receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery.

  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. Visit ouridentity protection page if you clicked on links in a suspicious email or website and entered confidential information.
  4. Forwardthe email as-is to us atphishing@irs.gov. Don’t forward scanned images because this removes valuable information.
  5. Delete the original email.

You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee …

  1. Record the employee’s name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available.
  2. Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
    • If the person calling you is an IRS employee, call them back.
    • If not, report the incident toTIGTA and to us at phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘IRS Phone Scam’)

You receive a letter, notice or form via paper mail or fax from an individual claiming to be the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee …

Go to the IRS home page and search on the letter, notice, or form number. Fraudsters often modify legitimate IRS letters. You can also find information at Understanding Your Notice or Letteror by searching Forms and Pubs.

  • If it is legitimate, you’ll find instructions on how to respond or complete the form.
  • If you don’t find information on our website or the instructions are different from what you were told to do in the letter, notice or form, call 1-800-829-1040 to determine if it’s legitimate.
  • If it’s not legitimate, report the incident toTIGTAand to us at phishing@irs.gov.

You receive an unsolicited fax, such as Form W8-BEN claiming to be from the IRS, requesting personal information …

Please send us the email or scanned fax via email to phishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘FAX’).

Visit the FATCA home page and Form W8-BEN for more information.

You receive an unsolicited telephone call or email, involving a stock or share purchase, that involves suspicious IRS or Department of Treasury documents such as “advance fees” or “penalties” …

… and you are a U.S. citizen located in the United States or its territories or a U.S. citizen living abroad.

  1. Complete the appropriate complaint form with theS. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Forward email tophishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Stock’).
  3. If you are a victim of monetary or identity theft, you may submit a complaint through theFTC Complaint Assistant.

… and you are not a U.S. citizen and reside outside the United States.

  1. Complete the appropriate complaint form with theS. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. Contact your securities regulator and file a complaint.
  3. Forward email tophishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Stock’).
  4. If you are a victim of monetary or identity theft, you may report your complaint togov.

You discover a website on the Internet that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus …

 send the URL of the suspicious site tophishing@irs.gov (Subject: ‘Suspicious Website’).

You receive a text message or Short Message Service (SMS) message claiming to be from the IRS …

  1. Don’t reply.
  2. Don’t open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect your computer or mobile phone.
  3. Don’t click on any links. If you clicked on links in a suspicious SMS and entered confidential information, visit ouridentity protection
  4. Forward the text as-is, to us at 202-552-1226.Note:Standard text messaging rates apply.
  5. If possible, in a separate text, forward the originating number to us at 202-552-1226
  6. Delete the original text.

 

 

Additional information can be found at the IRS Tax Scams & Consumer Alerts website.

 

At KMM, your security is of the outmost importance. If you receive correspondence from the IRS and are uncertain of its legitimacy, please reach out to our office and we will assist you to the best of our ability.