Each year thousands of taxpayers fall prey to scammers impersonating the Internal Revenue Service and demanding they pay money for alleged back taxes, and sometimes threatening arrest or other harm. These scams are increasingly utilizing phone, email, text messages and social media channels, as well as sending phishing links that appear to come from official IRS websites.
Is IRS Secure Messaging legit?
During October’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the IRS and state tax community are reminding taxpayers and their families to be on guard against these types of scams. The IRS doesn’t contact people via social media, email or text messages and never demands immediate payment by credit card or prepaid cards. In fact, the agency only sends notices by mail and calls only after a person has already received a bill in the mail for their tax debt.
Got a text about money from the IRS? In addition, the IRS does not request PIN numbers or passwords to online financial accounts or other personal information. The agency also does not ask for payments via iTunes cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. It is critical for everyone to understand how the IRS reaches out to taxpayers and their families.
Nearly all the IRS’s communication with taxpayers occurs by physical mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service. This includes tax forms and letters, correspondence about a refund and even collection calls to people who owe taxes. The IRS will not call to demand a payment over the phone without first sending a letter by regular mail giving the taxpayer a chance to question or appeal the amount owed.