Fake IRS emails & tax scams

During tax season  thousands of people fall victim to tax scams and fake IRS emails.

Tax identity theft happens when a scammer gains access to your personally identifiable information (PII) and files a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security Number (SSN) and claims your refund. It also happens when someone uses your SSN to earn wages, and then sticks you with the tax bill. For further information,  the FTC has a short video outlining how IRS tax scams work.

The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, phone, text message or social media channels to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. See: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

If you receive an email that claims to be from the IRS or a tax software provider (TurboTax, H&R Block) that asks for W-2 data, PII information or asks you to reset a password do not reply or click on any links. If you feel it may be a legitimate email contact the sender by a known good telephone number. If you receive a tax scam email, forward it to phishing@irs.gov and abuse@njit.edu.

Last Updated: March 15, 2019