The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers of a new scam just weeks before the April 15 tax deadline.
It's a phishing email that appears to be from the IRS, but it includes a bogus case number and tells taxpayers to their 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error, so the case has been forwarded to the taxpayer advocate service. The email directs the victim to click on a link to web pages to avoid delays in processing their taxes.
The link is not legitimate and instead allow scammers to ask for the victim's personal information.
"The IRS will never email you or call you for an initial contact about your tax return. If we need to talk to you about your taxes the IRS will send you a letter through the mail with all the information that you need," said Michael Devine, an IRS spokesperson for Kansas City, MO.
If someone does get an email from the IRS, they should assume it's a scam and the IRS asks those people to forward that email to email@example.com to report it so they can investigate and stop the scammers.
Then the person should delete the email.
"If you fall victim and you have your identity stolen and it affects your taxes because someone has your information and files a fraudulent tax form using your information, those are some of the hardest cases that the IRS has to work. It takes months for us to solve, it takes months of your time," Devine said.
Click here for more information from the IRS.
KCTV5 contacted local police agencies to see how many tax fraud reports they've seen in the last month.
Lee's Summit, MO, police said they've dealt with one case. Overland Park, KS, police say they've taken 12 reports that were filed by someone on the victim's behalf, and the victim hadn't filed their taxes yet. Kansas City, KS, police say they haven't heard of any cases.
Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass is expected to blog about the scam Wednesday.
None of these reports include the new email scam the IRS is issuing warnings about because those complaints should go straight to the government agency.
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