Got a Text About Money From the IRS? It’s Probably a Scam

Got a text about money from the IRS? If you receive an unsolicited text message that claims to be from the IRS and asks for personal or financial information, don’t click on the link. It’s almost always a scam, and you may be exposing yourself to identity theft or malware on your mobile device. The IRS will never contact you by phone, email or social media to request your private information or payment. The agency generally communicates with taxpayers through the U.S. Postal Service and, in rare cases, IRS employees may visit a home.

What do I do if I get scammed via text?

Normally, when the IRS contacts taxpayers, they will mail several letters before calling, and even then the agency will never demand immediate payment or ask for sensitive information over the phone. Moreover, the IRS will never send emails asking taxpayers to open attachments that contain viruses or malware, and it will never ask for tax-related documents to be sent through email.

Another red flag to watch out for is a request that you pay your taxes using gift cards or cryptocurrency. This is an old scam that’s been around for a while, but criminals are trying to use the pandemic to make it more convincing.

The IRS will also never demand that you pay a penalty or overpaid tax in gift cards, and it will never charge for application forms like the Offer in Compromise program (OIC). You can download OIC forms directly from the IRS website.

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