IRS warns of phishing scam

Posted at 8:24 PM, Apr 07, 2016

The IRS is warning the public about reports of a phone and email phishing scam, which so far has affected residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.

The IRS said that the phishers are citing tax fraud and asking for the last four digits of victims’ Social Security numbers on a provided link. The scammers claim that information from recent data hacks is responsible.

The latest scam comes 14 months after the IRS reported a 400 percent increase in reported tax scams.

“As we approach the final days of this filing season, we continue to see these tax scams evolve.” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. “We don’t send emails like this, and there’s no special effort underway for people in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

“As these criminals shift their tactics, the IRS remains committed to quickly warning the taxpayers who may be targeted. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for these scams.”

The IRS says that it rarely solicits information online from taxpayers. Taxpayers can go this website to find out if they are being targeted by phishers.

According to the IRS, phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. If a criminal has this information, they can commit identity theft or financial theft.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.