CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

IRS warns taxpayers of ‘smishing’ scams involving IRS-themed texts

Oct 4, 2022, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:36 am

IRS texts are bogus. Picture shows a sign saying "warning, scam alert" on a keyboard...

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers that a new scam is aimed at stealing personal and financial information.(DepositPhotos)

(DepositPhotos)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Internal Revenue Service recently warned taxpayers about bogus IRS texts aimed at stealing personal and financial information.

A press release from the IRS stated that thousands of fraudulent domains are tied to multiple phone texting scams, known as smishing, that are targeting taxpayers.

Agents are asking everyone to remain vigilant.

The IRS warned that smishing campaigns target mobile phone users. Scam messages often look real, like it’s coming from the IRS. The messages offer fake COVID relief, tax credits or help to set up an IRS online account.

“This is phishing on an industrial scale so thousands of people can be at risk of receiving these scam messages,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “In recent months, the IRS has reported multiple large-scale smishing campaigns that have delivered thousands – and even hundreds of thousands – of IRS-themed messages in hours or a few days, far exceeding previous levels of activity.”

In the latest activity, scam texts often ask taxpayers to click a link. From there, phishing websites will try to collect their information or potentially send malicious code onto their phones.

The IRS does not send emails or text messages asking for personal or financial information or account numbers. These messages should all be red flags for taxpayers.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the IRS teams with security partners around the nation. They work to combat scams and raise awareness of phishing and other schemes that put sensitive data at risk.

Taxpayers should report these scams to phishing@irs.gov.

Related: Federal, state authorities warn of return of missed jury duty, outstanding warrant scam

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IRS warns taxpayers of ‘smishing’ scams involving IRS-themed texts