The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a new warning yesterday about a “tax transcript” scam. Over the past few weeks, taxpayers have received emails pretending to be from the “IRS Online.” The emails include an attachment labeled “Tax Account Transcript” or something similar, and the subject line includes some variation of the phrase “tax transcript.” As with past scams, taxpayers are tricked into opening emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait that carry malware. Keep in mind that these clues can change with each version of the malware.
If you receive an email like this, do not open the email or the attachment.
If you are using a personal computer, delete the email or forward the scam email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are using a work computer, notify your company’s IT department as soon as possible. This type of malware can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove.
As a reminder, the IRS does not send unsolicited emails to the public, nor would it email a sensitive document such as a tax transcript, which is a summary of a tax return.
The malware, known as Emotet, generally poses as specific banks and financial institutions to trick people into opening infected documents. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has labeled the Emotet Malware “among the most costly and destructive malware affecting state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, and the private and public sectors.”
Don’t fall for the tricks. Keep your personal information safe by remaining alert. When in doubt, assume it’s a scam. For more information on tax scams identified by the IRS, click here.