The BBB is warning people about a scam that makes people believe they owe the IRS money. The paperwork is sent on IRS letterhead and very official looking form. The letter asks for personal information such as your name, date of birth, bank account numbers, and a copy of your passport, things the IRS does not usually ask for in writing. The letter also states to correspond only via email, a huge red flag.
The IRS and BBB warns people to be wary of a number of IRS-related scams, including:
Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on excess or withheld Social Security benefits.
Claims that Treasury Form 1080 can be used to transfer funds from the Social Security Administration to the IRS enabling a payout from the IRS.
Unfamiliar for-profit tax services teaming with local churches.
Homemade fliers and brochures implying that credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
Offers of free money with no documentation required.
Promises of refunds for "Low Income -- No Documents Tax Returns."
Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Advice on claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit based on exaggerated reports of self-employment income.
E-mail scams are often sophisticated and hard to detect. Red flags include requests for detailed personal and financial information, including information the IRS should already have, such as your Social Security number; threats of consequences for not responding to the notification; and incorrect grammar or odd phrasing.
Remember, if the IRS needs information, it will generally send a letter. Don't respond to unsolicited e-mails or other communications asking for confidential information and don't click on attachments or links that may cause malware to be downloaded to your computer.
Anyone with questions about a tax credit or program should visit IRS.gov, call the IRS toll-free number at (800) 829-1040 or visit a local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
And for other scams other than phishing schemes, you may report the fraudulent misuse of the IRS name, logo, forms or other IRS property by calling the TIGTA toll-free hotline at 1-800-366-4484 or visiting the TIGTA Web site.