Alert: Fake Tax Bill Emails Being Sent
September 26, 2016
Cybercrime continues to be on the rise and, despite all efforts by corporate and governmental agencies to improve security, there is increasing sophistication in the methods used to deceive taxpayers. That being said, the phishing email is still the most effective way in which scammers entrap victims.
The IRS has recently reissued warnings of a phishing scam that is aimed at taxpayers. These emails purport to be sent from the IRS and contain a fraudulent IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act.
The scammers are sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015.
A CP2000 notice is a legitimate form that the IRS does issue to advise taxpayers that an adjustment is being proposed to a particular year's tax return resulting in a tax deficiency due from or, refund due, to the taxpayer.
The CP2000 is a notice that is commonly MAILED to taxpayers through the United States Postal Service. It is NEVER sent via email. In fact, the IRS does not contact taxpayers via email without the express permission of the taxpayer.
According to the IRS:
- "These notices are being sent electronically, even though the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media platforms;
- The CP notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas address;
- The underreported issue is related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requesting information regarding 2014 coverage;
- The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C.
The fraudulent CP2000 notice includes a payment request that taxpayers mail a check made out to the "I.R.S." to the "Austin Processing Center" at a Post Office Box address. This is in addition to a "payment" link within the email itself."
If you do receive an email, do NOT open any links or attachments contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to phishing@IRS.gov.
As outlined in our newsletters previously devoted to this topic:
Please know that the IRS will NEVER:
1. Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes owed without having first sent a bill via the mail.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without the ability to question or appeal the amount you owe.
3. Require that you use a specific method of payment such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for payment via a wire transfer.
5. Ask for debit or credit card numbers over the phone.
6. Ask for PINs, passwords or confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
7. Threaten to bring in law enforcement to have you arrested for non-payment.
If you do receive one of these calls, you should:
1. Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 if you know or think you owe taxes. The IRS will assist you with any payment issues.
2. If you do not owe taxes or have no reason to think you do, please report the incident to the TIGTA (the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
3. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission. Go to FTC.gov and click on FTC Complaint Assistant. Choose 'Other' and then 'Imposter Scams'. Be sure to add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
As always, please call us at 732-739-8991 with any questions or concerns or if you have been affected by a scam and need assistance.