Email and text scams are relentless, and scammers frequently use tax season as a way of tricking people. With people anxious to receive the latest information about a refund or other tax issue, scammers will regularly pose as the IRS, a state tax agency or others in the tax industry in emails and texts.
Phish or Smish: Avoid getting hooked by either
Phishing is an email sent by fraudsters claiming to come from the IRS or another legitimate organization, including state tax organizations. The email lures the victims into the scam by a variety of ruses such as enticing victims with a phony tax refund or frightening them with false legal/criminal charges for tax fraud.
Smishing is a text or smartphone SMS message that uses the same technique as phishing. Scammers often use alarming language like, “Your account has now been put on hold,” or “Unusual Activity Report” with a bogus “Solutions” link to restore the recipient’s account. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail and will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.