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Digest Stream: Be on the Lookout for Tax Scams

April 11, 2023

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🔒 As tax season arrives in the US, cybercriminals seize the opportunity to launch targeted social engineering attacks that capitalize on taxpayers' concerns. The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases regular updates on the top 12 scams affecting taxpayers to increase public awareness.

The IRS's most recent bulletin cautions against tax-related phishing scams in emails and smishing scams in text messages.

🎤 IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel emphasizes the need for caution, stating, "With people anxious to receive the latest information about a refund or other tax issue, scammers will regularly pose as the IRS, a state tax agency or others in the tax industry in emails and texts. People should be incredibly wary about unexpected messages like this that can be a trap, especially during filing season."

🛑 The IRS bulletin clarifies that the agency will never initiate contact regarding a bill or refund through email, text, or social media channels.

🚨 Here are some specific tactics employed by scammers:

• "Unusual account activation"
• Unexpected tax refunds
• Fraudulent tax refunds
• Threats of legal or criminal charges for tax fraud
• "Your account has now been put on hold"

If you believe you have received a tax-related phishing or smishing message, you can report it by sending or forwarding the message to phishing@irs.gov. Stay alert and protect your personal information during tax season.


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