IRS CONSUMER WARNING

Beware Of Identity Theft
From NAUS Update For 30 JAN 04

Internal Revenue Service officials are warning taxpayers about protecting their personal financial information contained in both regular and electronic mails.

This is the time of the year for collecting financial information for income tax returns and criminals are using several E-mail scams to gather personal financial information from taxpayers.

From One scheme informs a taxpayer that he or she is being audited by e-mail and asks the person to release his or her Social Security number, bank account numbers and other confidential information. If you receive such an e-mail notice, DO NOT PROVIDE THE INFORMATION requested. IRS does not operate in this manner.

These schemes and scams are an attempt to steal the identity of those who respond and could lead to a depleted bank account and ruined credit. Those who do respond risk becoming a victim of a scam designed to prey on a person's fear of a threatened IRS audit and assessment of penalties and interest.

IRS field auditors and collection officers carry picture identification cards and generally contact those persons being audited by telephone before visiting their homes or offices. If you have been a victim of a scam, contact the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Hotline at the toll free number: 1-800-829-0433.