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IRS-themed texting scams: All you need to know

Internal Revenue Service has made a video about how to avoid IRS text message scams and started a wide-ranging warning campaign

The Internal Revenue Service warns taxpayers that “smishing” attacks and SMS scams with IRS themes are on the rise and are trying to steal sensitive personal and financial information. Smishing attacks send phoney text messages claiming false COVID relief, tax credits, or other benefits to mobile phone subscribers.

According to the organization, the Internal Revenue Service never sends emails or texts requesting account numbers or other sensitive information.

The Internal Revenue Service has so far 2022 identified and reported thousands of bogus internet domains that have been used in many smishing attacks with an Internal Revenue Service theme. These attacks have multiplied dramatically in recent times.

Targeting Mobile Phones
Smishing is a form of phishing that uses text messages to get you to give away sensitive information, like your account number. Mobile phones and other MMS/SMS devices are the prime targets of smishing because they employ text messages.

The FBI says that the scam messages often express they are from the Internal Revenue Service and offer things like COVID relief, tax credits, or help setting up an online Internal Revenue Service account. Usually, the SMS tells the person receiving it to click on a link that takes them to a fake website that tries to steal their personal information or sends a virus to their phone.

Text Scams Increased Starting in 2020
In the fall of 2020, the Internal Revenue Service first became aware of an uptick in reports of smishing. Unfortunately, during the COVID pandemic, the supposed attacks kept happening, and people were asked for money and personal information. Because of this, the Internal Revenue Service has made a video about how to avoid Internal Revenue Service text message scams and started a wide-ranging warning campaign.

The Internal Revenue Service noticed an upsurge in reports of smishing schemes asking for taxpayers’ personal and financial information starting in the fall of 2020. Throughout the pandemic, these skirmishing operations persisted. In addition to publishing a video explaining how to prevent Internal Revenue Service text message scams, the IRS has taken several other actions to alert individuals to this persistent threat.

The Internal Revenue Service is increasing its efforts to combat internet fraud, but crooks are developing new strategies. One involves automatically generating hundreds or perhaps thousands of fake domains using algorithms. According to the CIA, a recent smishing campaign generated over 1,000 false domains using just thirty-two stolen or phoney email addresses.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners in the states and the country’s tax community urge citizens and the tax professional community to be on the alert for phishing scams and other schemes that could put sensitive tax data at risk.

How To Inform IRS Of Smishing Attack
To track down and handle online scams involving the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury, and taxes, the IRS keeps an email inbox (phishing@irs.gov). Phishing@irs.gov should not receive reports of smishing involving other government or commercial entities.

Report any SMS scams involving the Internal Revenue Service to phishing@irs.gov. The Internal Revenue Service security team can track and thwart these scams by receiving reports of messages with IRS-related themes.

The body of the email or text and the sender’s information should be included in your account with the Internal Revenue Service. The best way to copy text into an email is direct, but screenshots are also acceptable.

IRS Advise
A new email should be sent to phishing@irs.gov. The caller ID number to yourself (or email address). In the email, please paste the phone number or email address. Next, select “copy” by pressing and holding the SMS or text message. Into the email, paste the message. Include as much specific information as possible, such as the time zone, date, and phone number that received the message.

Emails should be sent to phishing@irs.gov. In addition, taxpayers should keep informing phishing@irs.gov about these frauds. Their reporting enables the Internal Revenue Service to alert the proper service providers to these scams so they can take appropriate action and safeguard other taxpayers who might fall victim to a different variation of the same scam.

Other Things You Can Report
Internal Revenue Service-related scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their Complaint Assistant in addition to the Internal Revenue Service using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Form and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Investigators at those agencies will have access to the material as a result.

Scam texts can also be copied and texted to 7726 to your wireless service provider. In the future, providers can recognize and block these messages thanks to this.

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