IRS Letters — Real or Scam?

By David Dring

Have your received an Identity Verification Letter from the IRS? There are a lot of scams involving the IRS these days, but THIS IS NOT A SCAM!


More information is available at this legitimate IRS Website:

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/identity-verification-for-irs-letter-recipients


The IRS states that people who are receiving this letter is a result of their last tax return. The IRS received a return from you, but wasn’t able to identify you in their system. They are concerned about identify theft. The IRS letter has specific instructions on the information you need to provide them to verify your ientify to their system. You may also go to the link above, and you may discover that you can process your identification verification online.


This is not a new thing. I discovered an article from 2015 in Forbes Magazine that provides some guidance about the IRS Identify Verification letter.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2015/03/18/its-not-a-scam-irs-is-really-sending-out-identity-verification-letters/?sh=562fafb52372


The bottom line is that this is a real letter from the IRS that you must respond to. And remember if you go to the IRS website make sure that the first part of the website address is IRS.GOV. GOV is an important element to the website. If the address is irs.org or irs.com or irs.net, then that’s fake and a scam.


Be well and be safe out there!


Addendum:


Tax season is a prime time for scammers using the IRS name. Beware! The IRS has a webpage listing many scams with links for more information. If you get a call or email from someone saying they are with the IRS, don't give them any information. Hang up. The IRS typically first sends a notice by mail. It does not call unexpectedly to discuss tax refunds, threaten arrest by local law enforcement or demand immediate payment in person or by gift or debit cards. Tax bills are paid to the U.S. Treasury and not directly to “agents”. (See this recent NY Times article.)


If you get a suspicious contact pretending to be from the I.R.S., you can report it by email to phishing@irs.gov or call the tax-related fraud hotline at 800-366-4484.


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