IRS scammers are at work 24/7

Taxpayers are warned that IRS scammers are at work to part you from your money

PORT ORCHARD — It seems whether it’s tax season or not, scammers still find ways to get people to part with their money under the guise of being an agent of the Internal Revenue Service.

The most recent scam that the IRS is warning taxpayers about is one where some have received unsolicited emails from 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 the refund.

But when taxpayers attempt to access the files, they turn out to be malicious. The IRS reminds that it does not send unsolicited emails and never emails taxpayers about the status of refunds. It also doesn’t contact people via text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

And needless to say, the IRS does not make harrassing phone calls to taxpayers — ever.

“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.”

According to the federal agency, 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 tracks every keystroke, eventually given them passwords to sensitive accounts, such as financial accounts.

J. Russell George, U.S. Treasury inspector general for tax administration, warns taxpayers of IRS scammers. (Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg)

J. Russell George, U.S. Treasury inspector general for tax administration, warns taxpayers of IRS scammers. (Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg)

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