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IRS Warns Taxpayers about Email Scam Purporting to be from Taxpayer Advocate Service

Fedsmith.com reported on 29th March, 2014 stating that Internal revenue Service (IRS) which is taxing agency of US is warning consumers to be wary of a new email phishing scam purporting to be from Taxpayer Advocate Service of IRS.

Actually, Taxpayer Advocate Service is a legitimate organization of IRS helping taxpayers to resolve federal tax issues which have not been resolved through normal IRS channels.

The fake emails read as: "Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance."

IRS noted that the bogus e-mails direct the recipient to click on links which supposedly provide information regarding the taxpayer advocate assigned to their case or let them "review reported income". The links lead to web pages seeking personal information.

Officials of IRS confirmed that IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service never contact taxpayers via e-mail, text or any other social media.

The IRS advised taxpayers, who receive these emails, not to respond and not to click on the links. Rather, they should forward these fake e-mails to the agency at phishing@irs.gov. More information can be found on Report phishing web page of IRS.

IRS said that this scheme is especially dangerous because stealing identities of taxpayers and filling bogus tax returns in their names has become a huge profitable business.

In the latest financial year, the tax agency (referring to IRS) initiated 1,492 identity- thefts related to criminal investigation which amounts to 66% more than the previous year.

What is more significant is the number of attempts of identity theft that IRS claims to have thwarted. The agency claims that from 2011 to November 2013, it has stopped 14.6 million suspicious returns and prevented more than $50 billion payment of fraudulent refunds.

IRS is diverting more and more resources to deal with identity theft of taxpayers. Officials of the agency added that during January 2014, the agency assigned 3,000 people to work on issues related to identity theft.

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