October 25, 2012 : Darla Tierney
Tax Scam Alert: Remember, Dot Gov is the One You Love
There’s a new tax scam using a website that very closely mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page. Criminals are using it to lure people into providing personal and financial information that may be used to steal the victim’s money or identity.
Don’t fall for it.
The fake sites appear to be almost identical to the real IRS registration page — except for one telltale detail: the web address.
The IRS website is www.IRS.gov. The web address does not include a .net, .org, .biz or any other top-level domain that is not .gov. And don’t forget that the IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.
If you come across a sketchy website that claims to be the IRS, do not enter any of your information. Instead, email the site’s URL to email@example.com with the subject line ‘suspicious website’. The IRS can use the information you provide to trace the hosting website and alert authorities to help shut down the fraudulent sites, so remain vigilant — especially as we get closer to tax time.
If you’re ever unsure, check the web address and remember: If it doesn’t end in ‘dot gov,’ don’t give it any love. And by ‘love,’ we mean financial and personal information.
More information on how to identify and protect yourself from tax scams, check out the aptly-titled How to Protect Yourself from Tax Scams resource page.