The IRS is warning people about a new scam that uses a website that appears to be the IRS’ e-Services online registration page. The real IRS e-Services website does not provide anything for taxpayers, but does provide web-based products and information for professional tax preparers. Many people are fooled by phony IRS websites that have URLs that are close to the IRS’ URL of www.irs.gov. Some may have IRS in the URL, but end in .com, .net or .org. The only official IRS website is www.irs.gov, but even there if you get an email that appears to be from the IRS you should disregard it because the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email and under no circumstances will the the IRS contact you by email, social media or text messages requesting personal information such as your bank account information or your Social Security number.
Never click on links in emails, texts or social media messages unless you area absolutely sure that the link is legitimate. And even then you should consider not clicking on a link until you have verified that indeed it was sent by a legitimate sender and even then you cannot be sure that the link is being sent to you by someone who is passing on a tainted link. The link may take you to a legitimate website that requests personal data from you, however, if the communication is from a scammer, the information you provide can lead to identity theft. Remember, if it is the IRS contacting you, they would already have your Social Security number and they don’t need or ask for you bank account information. By clicking on links from scammers, you also risk downloading dangerous keystroke logging malware programs that can steal all of the information from your computer and lead to you becoming a victim of identity theft.