Don’t Let Your Clients Get Phished. Educate Them

‘Tis the season for IRS letters – and they send them by the millions. What the IRS doesn’t do is call, text, or email taxpayers demanding payment or financial information. Unfortunately, many taxpayers don’t know that. When faced with threatening and urgent phone calls or emails, taxpayers will do anything to appease the person on the other end. That’s why the IRS has been sending out warning notices.

These If/Then Scenarios from the IRS are important for everyone to know and are a great educational tool to share with your clients.

Here’s what a taxpayer should do if they see a suspicious communication from the IRS:

  • Email
    If Someone receives an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information…
    Then the recipient should:

    • Not reply.
    • Not open any attachments. They can contain malicious code that may infect a computer or mobile phone.
    • Not click on any links.
    • Forward the email as-is to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.
    • Delete the original email.
  • Website
    If someone discovers a website that claims to be the IRS but the user suspects it is bogus…
    Then they should:

    • Send an email with the URL of the suspicious site to phishing@irs.gov.
    • Include a subject line of “suspicious website.”
  • Text Message
    If someone receives an unsolicited text message claiming to be from the IRS…
    Then the recipient should:

    • Not reply.
    • Not open any attachments.
    • Not click on any links.
    • Forward the text as-is to the IRS at 202-552-1226. Standard text messaging rates apply.
    • If possible, in a separate text, forward the originating number to the agency at 202-552-1226
    • Delete the original text.

If someone clicks on a link in a phishing email or text, or on a site they believe is bogus, they can visit the identity protection page for more information on steps to take to protect their information. You should also follow our Scam Round Up blog post. We update it as we learn about new scams.

Taxpayers Who Get Phished

More great reads

Tax Scams Abound. Tips to Stay Incident Free

The Common Denominator in Most Scams

Would You Take the Bait? Why Phishing Scams Should Concern You

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