Beware of Emails Claiming to be from the IRS

From time to time we field calls from clients who receive emails claiming to be from IRS.  Many of these emails fraudulently use the IRS name or logo to look like official communications.  However, most are scams known as “phishing,” the goal of which to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information.

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

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  If you receive an email from someone claiming to be the IRS or directing you to an IRS site:
    • Do not reply
    • Do not open any attachments
    • Do not click any links
  • The IRS never asks for detailed personal and financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret information for credit cards, bank or other financial information.
  • The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Do not be confused or misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. If you discover a website that claims to be the IRS but you suspect it is bogus, do not provide any personal information on the suspicious site and report it to the IRS.
  • If you receive a phone call, fax or letter in the mail from an individual claiming to be from the IRS but you suspect they are not an IRS employee, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to determine if the IRS has a legitimate need to contact you. Report any bogus correspondence. You can forward a suspicious email to phishing@irs.gov.
  • You can help shut down these schemes and prevent others from being victimized. Details on how to report specific types of scams and what to do if you’ve been victimized are available at www.irs.gov. Click on "phishing" on the home page.

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If you have questions about how this information affects your business or personal tax situation, please contact your Meaden & Moore representative or Pete DeMarco at (216) 241-3272 or pdemarco@meadenmoore.com.