With tax season in full swing, your mailbox and inbox have likely filled up with financial forms, Turbo Tax emails urging you to file and IRS alerts about scams. But not all of these messages are what they seem. In fact, some of them may even be dangerous.

Who can verify my identity?

Got a text about money from the IRS The IRS warns taxpayers of a spike in text message scams claiming to be from the agency. The scams ask recipients to click a link or attachment that will lead to fake IRS websites designed to steal private information, including names, Social Security numbers, bank account details and other data.

In recent months, the IRS has reported large-scale smishing campaigns that have sent thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, of IRS-themed texts to victims in just a few hours or days, far exceeding previous levels of activity.

While the IRS does send texts to inform taxpayers of certain events, it never initiates contact by email or social media regarding bills or refunds, nor does it ask for sensitive information this way. It also does not call or leave a prerecorded message asking for immediate payment or saying you will go to jail or be arrested if you don’t pay immediately, as these demands are illegal under federal law and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Real IRS contacts are made through official government mail that bears the agency’s logo and address and is typically delivered in an envelope marked with an official seal or with a barcode that you can verify on this website. It’s also important to remember that the IRS does not accept payments through iTunes cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers or other suspicious payment methods.

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