DOR warns customers to be on alert for fraudsters trying to get information
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) advises all taxpayers to not “take the bait” this tax season as fraudsters use their phishing schemes to gain access to personal financial information, including tax refunds.
“Phishing schemes come in many shapes and sizes,” explained DOR Commissioner Adam Krupp. “Tax season is a particular time of year where con artists focus their attention on finding ways to convince individuals to give up their information. They go as far as using fear tactics and/or creating communications that appear to be from an agency, such as DOR or the Internal Revenue Service.
“Phishing schemes are serious business, and DOR customers need to be on alert to prevent themselves from falling victim. Customers need to know what to look for to ensure their data is safe.”
There are several warning signs that indicate a phishing scam including:
The email asks customers to confirm personal information.
The website and email addresses do not look genuine or the URLs are shortened.
The email is poorly written—look for grammar mistakes or odd phrases.
The email includes a suspicious attachment—never open attachments in emails unless they’re from a trusted source.
The message is designed to make an individual panic and take immediate action.
The email claims to be from DOR or the IRS asking for personal information—please note that neither agency will ask for personal information via email.
A new twist on phishing schemes has fraudsters victimizing customers through their own bank account. Criminals steal personal data, file a fraudulent tax return and then use the taxpayer’s bank account to direct deposit the tax refund. Thieves then use various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayer, including falsely claiming to be from a collection agency, DOR or the IRS.
Additionally, tax professionals, payroll offices and human resources staff should be on high-alert when asked for W-2 or banking information. Criminals often pose as employees and target these groups in search of personal information to file fraudulent refunds.
“DOR wants everyone to remain vigilant during tax season,” reminded Commissioner Krupp. “When in doubt, contact DOR or the IRS before clicking on any link or providing any information. Remember DOR will never ask for sensitive taxpayer information through email correspondence.”
If individuals receive any unexpected or suspicious correspondence appearing to be from DOR or the IRS, please report it to:
Internal Revenue Service
Indiana Department of Revenue
Phone: 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST