Identity Theft continues to be a big problem. A number of legitimate Income Tax Filers had found that someone had already filed and received their Tax Refunds. It was a real hassle for them to get their money back. So, keep two things in mind: First, the Real IRS generally doesn’t contact people–by phone, FAX or Email–to get Personal Information, and always consult your Tax Professional before responding to any Requests for Information. Or, call the IRS.
The linked article, from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, by Donna Gehrke-White, describes the situation: New ID theft scam: Luring people to fake IRS website, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/blogs/money-sense/sfl-new-id-theft-scam-20121025,0,2299467.story. There is another key point that this article points out.
Some years ago, when I was still working, I had received an article, from one of the mutual fund companies, presenting an article by their President who listed his views regarding the Competition for Global Business between the US and Europe. I wanted to Email the link, for the article from Foreign Affairs Magazine, to my Clients. Foreign Affairs is one of the most influential magazines regarding Foreign Affairs.
Well, when I tried to go on the web site, for http://www.foreignaffairs.com, the Firm’s internal security system blocked it. The Error Message was ”Potential Pornography”. So, I sent the form for our Regional Manager to approve access. Later that day, I receive word back that the correct address was http://www.foreignaffairs.org. ORG, not COM!
So, I can vouch for the importance of having the proper suffix on the web site address. The main address for the US Government is http://www.us.gov. From there, you can click on the proper agency: i.e. Social Security; Department of the Treasury; Veterans’ Administration: IRS; etc. Alternatively, you can check your last Tax Return for the IRS Customer Information number, which I have found extremely helpful in the past.