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News5 viewer has concerns about suspicious email that says it's from the IRS

IRS officials in Denver say they will never email, text, or message someone on social media
Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 01, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — When someone contacts us claiming to be with the IRS it usually gets our attention, but in many cases it’s actually from a criminal imposter. One of our viewers is dealing with this right now and we learned the best way to avoid falling victim to a scam is understanding how the IRS communicates with taxpayers.

IRS officials News5 talked to say criminals and imposters don’t discriminate. They’ll attack someone in the big city and even the folks who live along the dirt roads of the eastern plains.

If you’re a taxpayer there’s a chance you could be targeted by an email, text message, or social media message from someone pretending to be with the IRS.

”It just looked real,” said News5 viewer Richard Campbell about a pair of unexpected emails claiming to be from the IRS. He was concerned enough about what he was seeing that he reached out to News5 for help.

”It said Action Required. There was an attachment with a form that looked very IRS specific. It had the seals and a lot of information on it that looked legitimate,” said Campbell.

He also mentioned the timing of these emails seemed to be intentional. .

”I had accessed my IRS account a day or two prior to send information to the education people, so I thought it was from that,” said Campbell.

We reached out to the IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office where officials say the IRS does not send unsolicited text messages, emails, or social media messages. Even if you were contacted by phone or through the mail officials say they would never demand sensitive information or payment by gift card, cryptocurrency, or to any place other than the Department of Treasury.

Investigators say the email Campbell contacted News5 about is a scam.

Campbell hopes sharing his story will inspire others to do the same to help our communities learn how to stay safe from attacks like this.

”If you see something. Report it and get it out there.” // Fraudsters are going to capitalize on whatever they can capitalize on. Even if they get our information they can sell that. If they can access our bank accounts they are going to get in there and dig around. That’s what they do,” warned Campbell.

Remember if you get one of these suspicious messages it’s important to report it. That way the criminal investigators at the IRS can try to piece this together and hold the people behind those messages accountable.

Taxpayers who receive unsolicited emails or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, should forward the message to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers can also contact the IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office at denverfieldoffice@ci.irs.gov if they feel they are the target of an IRS impersonation scam.

Here is a link to the IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft for anyone who thinks their identity may have been compromised.
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