The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers to watch out for scammers who try to sell or offer help setting up an Online Account on IRS.gov that puts their tax and financial information at risk of identity theft.
The IRS Online Account provides valuable tax information for people. But this information in the wrong hands can provide important information to help an identity thief try to submit a fraudulent tax return in the person’s name in hopes of getting a big refund. People should watch out for these scam artists offering to help set up these accounts because these are identity theft attempts to run off with the taxpayer’s personal or financial information.
“Scammers are coming up with new ways all the time to try to steal information from taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “An Online Account at IRS.gov can help taxpayers view important details about their tax situation. But scammers are trying to convince people they need help setting up an account. In reality, no help is needed. This is just a scam to obtain valuable and sensitive tax information that scammers will use to try stealing a refund. People should be wary and avoid sharing sensitive personal data over the phone, email or social media to avoid getting caught up in these scams.”
IRS Online Account: Steer clear of help from third-party scammers
In this scam targeting individuals, swindlers pose as a “helpful” third party and offer to help create a taxpayer’s IRS Online Account at IRS.gov. People should remember they can set these accounts up themselves. But third parties making these offers will try to steal a taxpayer’s personal information this way. Taxpayers can and should establish their own Online Account through IRS.gov.
These scammers often ask for the taxpayer’s personal information including address, Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) and photo identification. The criminal then sells this valuable information to other criminals. They can also use the sensitive information to file fraudulent tax returns, obtain loans and open credit accounts.
The IRS is urging people to watch out for these “helpful” criminals. The only place individuals should go to create an IRS Online Account is IRS.gov. People should not use third-party assistance, other than the approved IRS authentication process through IRS.gov, to create their own IRS online account.
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