Be on alert for tax scam emails and phone calls

During tax season you are likely to receive fake scam emails which appear to be from the IRS regarding returns, e-files, W2s and 1099s. Keep in mind the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

You may also get scam emails purporting to have tax forms from your bank or even Williams. Recent scams have tried to fool people into logging into a fake Peoplesoft site to retrieve a “paperless” W2. If you want to view any online tax data please do so from an existing browser bookmark or manually type in the college address. If you do receive a suspicious email regarding taxes please forward it to spam@williams.edu so OIT staff can check it out. For more information on tax phishing scams: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts The IRS does make phone calls, so it is important to stay cautious and informed if you do receive a call. There are new aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, especially recent immigrants who may be unfamiliar with standard IRS practices. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes, so keep in mind: –The IRS will NEVER call and demand immediate payment over the phone. –The IRS will NEVER try to threaten or intimidate you, demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone. –The IRS will NEVER threaten to call the police or immigration agents if you don’t pay. If you get a call like this please let us know so we can alert our community. Report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by calling 800-366-4484 or visiting http://www.tigta.gov . Also, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/complaint . For more information on phone scams, watch this IRS YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y5z0kWgBcM and read this IRS Tax Tip: https://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Urges-Public-to-Stay-Alert-for-Scam-Phone-Calls . Visit https://uscis.gov/avoidscams or https://www.uscis.gov/es/eviteestafas to learn how to recognize and avoid immigration scams and find authorized legal services.

 

Seth Rogers
Director of Desktop Systems Office for Information Technology
Williams College