Taxes for the 2022 tax year are due next month, and ahead of the deadline, taxpayers should be aware of both phishing and smishing scams as the season wraps up. Phishing is an email sent by fraudsters claiming to be the IRS or another tax or financial organization, while smishing is the same thing but via text messages, the IRS warned Tuesday.
“Email and text scams are relentless, and scammers frequently use tax season as a way of tricking people,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “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. People should be incredibly wary about unexpected messages like this that can be a trap, especially during filing season.”
In the event a taxpayer encounters one of these scams in their email or messages, they should never click on any unsolicited communication. The links included in the messages may contain malware or ransomware for hackers to prevent users from accessing their systems and files.
The IRS will usually contact people by mail and will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media regarding a bill or tax refund.
The IRS’s warning regarding phishing and smishing scams is part of a “dirty dozen” list the IRS issues every year to warn taxpayers of scams that exist during tax season. Some of the scams are new to this tax season, while others are a return from previous seasons.
The deadline to file taxes for most taxpayers is scheduled for April 18, with some disaster-stricken states having their deadline set for later in the year. For anyone who has already filed and is awaiting their refund, they can use a tool available on the IRS’s website to find out when they will receive it.
Additional information regarding the tax scams the IRS has warned about can be found on the IRS’s website.