The IRS recently issued a warning about a dramatic increase in the number of tax-related texting scams (also called “smishing”) occurring across the U.S. The scammers typically send a text message that appears to be from the IRS, which might include fake instructions to create an online IRS account, threats of tax penalties, or promises of tax or disaster relief. The message then urges recipients to click a link or call a phone number, where criminals stand ready to steal sensitive personal information like Social Security or bank account numbers.
If you receive a suspicious text claiming to be from the IRS, do not respond or click any links. The IRS does not send text messages requesting personal, tax or financial information. You can also help stop the scammers by reporting any smishing messages to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a copy of the bogus message, the number that it came from, and the date, time and location you received it.