Iowans are being warned about stepped up scams in e-mail that may look like they’re from the Internal Revenue Service. I-R-S spokesman Christopher Miller says the schemes have been around for months but they’ve picked up again in recent weeks.
Miller says the fraudulent e-mails are designed to trick the recipients into disclosing personal and financial information, usually credit card numbers, PINS, Social Security numbers and account numbers, which could be used to steal their identity and financial assets. Identity theft is a growing crime that’s costing tens of thousands of Americans millions of dollars.
Miller says the agency’s investigators have identified about a hundred different e-mail scams involving the I-R-S, many with similarities. The language of the e-mails is typically the same, saying after the latest calculations, they’ve determined the person is due a tax refund of 63-dollars and 80-cents — which Miller says is significant because many of the scams use that same total. Miller says the tax collection agency never makes it a practice to e-mail Iowans to ask for this sort of information.
Miller says the I-R-S typically uses regular mail or sometimes phone calls but they make sure to verify the individual they’re talking to by using information only they would know. He says they’ve seen a recent rise in complaints about these bogus e-mails and taxpayers in Iowa who want to make sure they’re not ignoring the real thing -do- have an alternative.
Contact the I-R-S at the toll-free helpline 800-829-1040 and chose the option for your tax account so you can speak to a live person and see if the agency is really trying to get a hold of you. You can also reach the agency via e-mail using the website I-R-S-dot-gov.
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