The holidays have come and gone, and now tax season is upon us. Not only may you be feeling the burden of filing your taxes on your shoulders, but you may have already encountered your share of IRS-related scams.

As you encounter suspicious communication from the IRS this season, remember that the IRS never initiates communication with tax payers via any type of electronic method, including social media channels, text messages, and emails. With that in mind, here are some tips for handling mistrustful messages from scammers claiming they are the IRS:

  • If an email pops up in your inbox from the IRS asking for personal information, do not reply. You should also not open any attachments or links included with the email. Forward the email exactly as it was sent to you to phishing@irs.gov.
  • If you come across a website online that seems bogus, but it claims to be the IRS, send the website’s URL to phishing@irs.gov. The subject line of the message should be “Suspicious Website.”
  • If someone calls you claiming to be an IRS employee, ask for the person’s badge number and call-back number. Then, contact the IRS to determine if the person on the phone is actually a member of this government agency.
  • If you receive an unsolicited fax from the IRS, contact the agency directly to determine if the fax letter was intentional. If the fax is a scam, send information about it in an email to phishing@irs.gov and put the word “FAX” in the subject line.
  • If you receive a letter in the mail from the IRS, but you have hesitations about its validity, contact the IRS to find out if the letter is in fact legitimate. If the letter is legitimate, respond if needed.
  • If you receive a text message from someone claiming to be the IRS, do not reply, open any attachments, or click on any links. Forward the message to 202-552-1226. In a separate text, you should also forward the originating number of the suspicious message to 202-552-1226. Then you can delete the original text.