The IRS has issued warnings recently about scams that are tricking innocent individuals into providing personal information. Once the scammer has the information, it is used to steal the individual’s identity or access their bank accounts. These sites can be very convincing and absolutely devastating if you are caught up in the scam.
The scammers have created websites that look virtually identical to the IRS’s site but have website URLs that end in .com, .org, .net or other ending. The actual IRS site ends only in .gov. That is the first and easiest way to identify whether you are dealing with a legitimate entity.
Also, the IRS will never contact you by email, text, facebook or other social media method to request personal information of any kind. Contact by these methods will always be scams! No matter what the electronic communication says, it is phony.
It best course of action is to report the email or other contact to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. The IRS is very interested in identifying the scammers and trying to get them shut down. Many individuals are hurt by these scams every year.
To find out more about protecting yourself from scams of this type, go to the actual IRS’s website at www.IRS.gov and search the site using the word “phishing”. This will bring back a number of articles discussing types of scams and how to avoid them.