Chief's Corner: Tax season is the prime time for email scams
As April 15, 2019 quickly approaches, we wanted to remind you to be vigilant in avoiding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) related online scams.
These IRS scams, as well as other similar scams, most often utilize scare tactics and threat of financial impact as a way to get victims to comply. During tax season, online scammers will often attempt to phish your personal information.
Phishing is a way that scammers attempt to steal your personal information and/or money by sending bogus emails. The emails look official and may state you have funds available, or that you may owe money. It’s important to know that the Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text messages or social media. Any requests for PIN numbers, passwords or access to bank information should be considered a scam.
According to the IRS, if you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, taxes associated with a large investment, inheritance or lottery, do not reply and certainly do not open any attachments. Those attachments contain malicious software that will infect your computer or phone.
Also, do not click on any embedded links. Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then delete the email. If you discover a web site that claims to be the IRS, forward the web address to the same email address.
For more information, please refer to the official IRS website regarding Phishing and Online Scams at https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing
If you have any questions, please contact the Downey Police Department at (562) 861-0771.