Get an email or text from the IRS? Don’t click the link.

IRS says it does not send unsolicited email or text messages

SAN ANTONIO – Janice Perryman has already gathered her bank statements and W-2′s. Crooks are calculating, too, and she knows it.

“I’m really mindful of, you know, fake people,” she said. “I usually try to call, you know, find out something. I don’t react on it right away. "

Now, the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Trade Commission are warning taxpayers about fake people, emails and text messages making the rounds.

“They are making them look more and more real is the problem,” said IRS spokesman Richard Sanford.

The logo on the email looks legit. One version tells the recipient they overpaid their 2023 taxes and they’re due a refund of $650. What they need to do is click on the “Refund” link.

“They are either trying to steal your money or your information,” Sanford said.

Clicking on the link may also infect your computer with malware.

“One thing we don’t do at the IRS is send emails unsolicited,” Sanford said.

If the IRS needs to reach you, it first sends mail through the U.S. Postal Service. And, the IRS never makes threats or asks for sensitive persoanl information like Social Security numbers or bank accounts.

In 2022, $5.7 billion was lost to tax scams and fraud, often through phishing, hacking or fake tax preparers.

“Let’s face it, these folks are gonna have your social security number, your children’s social security numbers, so they really need to be people you trust,” Sanford said.

He urges taxpayers to get references. You can also look on the IRS website to find certified tax preparers.

You may not be able to avoid taxes, but you can steer clear of the scams.

About the Authors

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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