Tech Tip: Be aware of Taxpayer Advocacy Panel scam

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, is the second in a series focusing on tax scams that become more rampant during tax season.

One of the more popular tax scams people are encountering this season is an evolution of the standard phishing (fraudulent/fake/impersonated email) scam. In this scam, people are receiving a spoofed (faked) email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, indicating information about a refund the targeted person is to receive. The email is designed to appear official, representing the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, putting the recipient at ease. The email then asks for personal and financial information to process the refund, often through following a supplied Internet link.

Do not click any links in this type of message.

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a real, volunteer group that advises the Internal Revenue Service. It would never contact you to request any personal or financial information. Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel does not have access to any of your personal or financial information.

If you receive an email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and suspect that it is a scam, report it by forwarding the email to phishing@irs.gov.