Fake IRS Emails, Calls, Letters More Prevalent.

There is nothing more financially terrifying than getting a letter from the IRS.  Pranksters have long been able to superimpose the IRS’s logo onto a letterhead and mail it off for laughs, but now, these pranksters have grown up into identity thieving crooks using more than a letterhead. Identity thieves have an arsenal of weapons including phony emails, phony telephone numbers, phony letters, and phony websites from which they attempt to extract your personal information.

It has been said that last year was the worst year for tax-related identity theft, but that this year, identity theft has quintupled. Now, granted, some people are naturally ultra paranoid and refuse to divulge any personal information to anyone other than an IRS agent, while others are more trusting and doubtful of the actuality of identity theft. Either way, it can be easy to be mistaken when the ploys of some of these crooks are so believable.  Phone numbers can be given a “name” that shows up on your caller ID. Ever received a call from the President asking for campaign donations? I know I have. We all got a good laugh out of the no-name caller showing up on the caller ID as “Barak Obama.” Same thing with emails. You can set the name and make it as believable as the real thing. Fake IRS letters? All you need is one recent copy of an actual IRS letter and a technically gifted graphics person to be able to wreck some serious havoc.

If you receive a letter, a call, or an email and suspect that it is not from the IRS, do not just discard it and forget about it. Call the IRS immediately and report suspected fraud. To report a suspicious letter or a fake call from the IRS, call 1-800-829-1040.

Posted: February 25, 2013

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