Back in February, the IRS sent an email about how they don’t use email. Talk about needing IRS Notices decoded!! But this notice is super important because it deals with fraud, identity theft and a thing called, “Phishing.”
What is Phishing?
Phishing is not the same fishing I did with my dad when I was a kid using a pole, line, and hook. According to the IRS:
“Phishing is a scam typically carried out by unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.”
Roughly Translated – Phishing is when someone uses email, social media, or any electronic means to try and steal your identity, or your money.
So it’s kind of like fishing. Phishers dangle some bait out there, and hope one of us bites. Whether it’s Fishing or Phishing – the fish that gets caught, gets cooked.
People take that bait every day because it looks convincing. Phishers steal logos, color schemes, and anything else they need to make themselves look more credible. And it usually looks pretty good, I mean, who doesn’t want free stuff?! But let’s face it, we all know if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Don’t Take the Bait
If you’re like me, then your spam box probably looks like this.
It’s full of offers for luxury items like jewelry, watches and designer handbags. It’s got porn, offers for Viagra, and links to view pictures of young hot singles that have already seen your profile. (What profile?? I don’t have a profile!?!) The list goes on, and I get about 20 messages like this every day.
We all get these, and this is where phishing starts. If you get an email asking you for money, your social security number, bank information, or anything else you feel should be private – don’t reply!! Phishers use threatening language, they offer huge rewards, they lie, and all of it so they can steal from you. Don’t reply, even if it looks like it came from the IRS. The IRS won’t send you email asking for personal information – ever.
It’s all spam, and some of it is also bait.
Spot the Hook
What does this have to do with the IRS?? Scammers use IRS logos all the time, trying to steal from people like us. So it’s important that you know the IRS will NEVER ask for personal information through email or social media. In fact, the IRS won’t ask you for anything at all through electronic means.
The official IRS website is www.IRS.gov. You’ll never get an IRS webpage that’s a .com, .net, or .org. In fact, any email you get that looks like it’s from the IRS with links to something other then .gov is for sure not our government. Tread carefully.
If this worked for you, or didn’t work for you. If this made sense, or just added to your confusion. If you have more questions, or just want to talk…
We’re here to help with any Form 2290 e-file questions. We want to help. From our family company to yours – we’re here for you!