The IRS never sends out unsolicited emails, and under no circumstances, requests credit card or other personal financial information through email, text messages or social media channels.
“These brazen attempts to trick you could even threaten serious consequences if you don't respond,” Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman in Dallas, said in a prepared statement. “They might direct you to a website that looks just like the real IRS website, but don't be deceived — the sole purpose of these bogus messages is to trap you into divulging information so the operators can commit a crime.”
People receiving emails that claim to be from the IRS should not attempt to visit any site contained within the email or open any attachments.
“Over the years, we've seen deceptive email scams that asked for bank account numbers — they told taxpayers they were due a refund or that they are even under criminal investigation,” Sanford said. “These wrongdoers put extra effort into using font styles, colors and logos to make their communications look genuine, so be on guard when going through your email.”
Suspicious emails can be sent to the IRS by forwarding them to email@example.com. The IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the suspicious emails forwarded to trace the hosting website and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites.