Don’t Be Fooled by IRS Email

The tax man cometh next month! BBB warns you not to be fooled by emails claiming you qualify to receive Federal and State tax relief. In fact, one such email says, “It will feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.”

This so-called Tax-Reprieve Package Federal Relief Program email gives a file number, then asks you to click on a link saying, “See the amount of Tax-Relief you will receive.” But, if you do click, you could be downloading spyware onto your computer that will steal your personal information.

It is important to keep in mind the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. Scam artists routinely pose as tax preparers during tax time, luring victims in by promising large Federal tax refunds or refunds that people never dreamed they were due in the first place. BBB recommends not clicking on any links from a source you do not recognize. This time of year, there is the potential for several schemes mimicking the IRS.

Bottom line: Emails like this are a sure indication it’s all just a scam from those looking to steal your personal information.

Don’t click, just delete, otherwise you’ll have a much larger weight on your shoulders trying to get out from a huge case of identity theft. Start with Trust, visit bbb.org.

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About Howard Ain

Howard Ain has been reporting consumer news on Cincinnati television for the past 38 years. He also writes a newspaper column alerting readers to consumer scams. He now joins BBB|Cincinnati as a correspondent.