For years I’ve been warning folks about the IRS Phone scam but now the bad guys are changing things up. They’re targeting people’s email.
I spoke with Ryan Thompson, a special agent for the IRS and an expert on tax scams.
“They’ve had one scam, it worked for a while, the word got out that that’s one you don’t want to fall for – for the folks out there in the public – and the bad guys, the fraudsters, have just changed strategies,” said Thompson.
This email scam involves a fake bill for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Thompson said the IRS won’t demand payment in their first letter.
“You’re not going to have the exact bill. It’s not going to say, hey, pay this thing right now. It gives you a process to follow up with the IRS,” said Thompson.
And if you do owe Uncle Sam, you would send your check to the Department of Treasury. It will never be addressed to the IRS at a PO Box, like what’s listed in the scam letter.
Thompson says fraudsters have made $47 million off this scam. One million of that came from Washington State alone. You’re probably asking yourself, why the government doesn’t stop this.
“The perpetrators are located off shore,” said Thompson.
The takeaway from this – the IRS will never call you for money or email you a bill. It’s also important to confirm a bill is legit before handing over your cash.
“This particular scam, it’s going to evolve, it’s going to change. So stay up to date,” said Thompson.
If you receive an IRS email that looks like a scam, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete it from your inbox.